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Streusel Top Apple Muffins (No Mixer)

These moist apple muffins are packed with juicy apples and topped with a crunchy brown sugar streusel topping! They’re really easy to make, too. Perfect for a fall breakfast with a hot cup of coffee!

streusel topappl muffin on a table with coffe, an apple and cinnamon sticks

Don’t you just love a delicious muffin with a nice hot cup of coffee in the morning?  These streusel top apple muffins are to die for! They’re great with coffee or on their own!

They’re also perfect for lunch boxes or snacks!

And I absolutely LOVE baking with apple and cinnamon! It just makes the whole house smell so good! 

These muffins are guaranteed to satisfy ALL your muffin cravings! 

two streusel top apple muffins on wooden table with an apple and cinnamon sticks

Why you’ll love these streusel top apple muffins:

They’re incredibly soft, and SUPER moist.

They’re full of sweet, juicy apples.

They’ve got an AMAZING crunchy, streusel topping.

They’re so simple to make and it’s all made by hand – you don’t need a mixer.

They taste like they’re fresh from the bakery!

two streusel top apple mufins, one on top of the other, with two apples and cinnamon sticks

You only need a few basic pantry ingredients to make these muffins:

Flour

Brown and white sugar

Spices

Leaveners

Salt

An egg

Milk 

Butter

Apples 

Each ingredient is important in its own way:

Flour: I use all-purpose. For a richer, nuttier flavor, you could use whole wheat flour, too. The texture would be a bit coarser compared to all-purpose flour, but it would be a lot healthier. If you want, you could use half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour.

Sugar: I use a combination of packed brown sugar and granulated white sugar. The brown sugar gives a nice caramel touch which really compliments the apple and spices. Brown sugar also adds moisture and helps keep the muffins moist longer.

Spices: I use ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg.

Leaveners: I use both baking powder and baking soda, because I wanted to add more lift to the muffins since I added the topping. Both leaveners also help to give the muffins that cute little dome!

Salt: I always use a bit to boost all the flavors.

Egg: I use 1 large egg. I found that using more than 1 egg for this recipe tends to make the muffins a little drier.

Milk: I use fresh low fat milk, but you could use full fat milk. I’m not sure of how nut milks would affect the overall flavor, but I’m guessing it wouldn’t make that big of a difference.

Apples: I use Gala apples because they’re sweet. I don’t really like tart apples, but you could use your favorite apple variety for this recipe.

Butter: I use unsalted butter. If you want to use salted butter, just omit the salt from the recipe.

How to make streusel top apple muffins in 6 easy steps:

Whisk together the dry ingredients.

Whisk together the wet ingredients.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

Gently fold in the chopped apples.

Make the streusel topping.

Sprinkle the muffins with the topping and bake.

4 WAYS TO MAKE THE STREUSEL TOPPING:

 

These are 4 different ways I’ve used to make the streusel topping. Use whichever method works best for you!

Food processor

This is the fastest and easiest method. Just put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the mixture becomes crumbly.

Fork

You can mash all the ingredients together using a fork until the mixture is crumbly.

Pastry blender

Just like the fork, you can also use a pastry blender to cut the butter and mash everything together until it’s crumbly.

Fingers

You can use your fingers to rub the butter together with the other ingredients until it looks like coarse crumbs.

streusel top apple muffin with 2 apples and 2 cinnamon sticks

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Don’t overmix the batter,otherwise the muffins could get dense instead of fluffy.
  • Don’t fill the liners all the way to the top, otherwise the muffins will overflow. Fill them about  ¾ full.
  • This recipe includes just the right amount of streusel topping for each muffin. If you put a lot of topping on the muffins, they’ll create an unattractive uneven top. A little really goes a long way!
  • These muffins spoil faster than regular muffins because they contain fresh fruit. If you don’t plan on eating them within a day or so, put them in the refrigerator in an airtight container or storage bag for up to 3 days. Keep in mind that once refrigerated, the streusel topping will begin to lose its crunchiness due to the moisture.
  • You can easily reheat these muffins the next day. Just pop them in the oven (350 °F / 180 °C) for about 10 minutes.

Let me know how these streusel top apple muffins turn out for you in comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

~Voula

Streusel Top Apple Muffins (No Mixer)

These moist apple muffins are packed with juicy apples and topped with a crunchy brown sugar streusel topping! They’re really easy to make, too. Perfect for a fall breakfast with a hot cup of coffee!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: streusel top, apple, muffins, no mixer, easy, cinnamon
Servings: 12

Equipment

  • a 12-cup muffin or cupcake tin
  • 12 muffin or cupcake liners

Ingredients

For the muffins

  • 2 cups (254 g / 9 oz) all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½  teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼  teaspoon salt
  • ½  cup firmly packed brown sugar (100 g / 3.5 oz) 
  • ½  cup granulated white sugar (100 g / 3.5 oz) 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml / 2.7 fl oz) vegetable oil
  • ½ cup (125 ml / 4 fl oz) milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 medium apples, (cored, peeled and cubed or cut into small pieces)

For the streusel topping

  • ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar (50 g / 1.75 oz) 
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour (30 g / 1 oz) 
  • ½  teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g / 1 oz) cold butter
  • a pinch of salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 °F / 205 °C.
  • Line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners. Set aside.

Make the muffins

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the brown and white sugar, the vanilla, and the spices. Add the milk, oil, and egg and mix until combined. 
  • Mix the flour mixture into the egg mixture and whisk until just combined. Don’tovermix.
  • Gently fold in the chopped apples.
  • Fill the liners ¾ of the way full. Set aside.

Make the streusel topping

  • Put all the topping ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the mixture becomes crumbly. OR Add the topping ingredients to a small bowl and mash them together using a fork, pastry blender, or your fingers, until they resemble coarse crumbs.
  • Sprinkle the muffins with the topping.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.
  • Let the muffins cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing them to a wire rack for another 10 minutes to cool completely. 
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • These muffins spoil faster than regular muffins because they contain fresh fruit. If you don’t plan on eating them within a day or so, put them in the refrigerator in an airtight container or storage bag for up to 3 days. Keep in mind that once refrigerated, the streusel topping will begin to lose its crunchiness due to the moisture.
  • You can easily reheat these muffins the next day. Just pop them in the oven (350 °F / 180 °C) for about 10 minutes.
© Pastry Wishes
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Classic Chocolate Cupcakes (No Mixer)

These chocolate cupcakes are soft, velvety, moist, and decadent! They’re so easy to make, they’re practically foolproof and you don’t even need a mixer!

three chocolate cupcakes with dark chocolate frosting

Nothing beats a classic chocolate cupcake, especially when there’s a luscious swirl of frosting on top! Who could possibly resist??!!??

This is a recipe that WORKS! You can whip these chocolate cupcakes up in no time, too! All you need is a whisk – NO MIXER!

unwrapped chocolate cupcake with dark chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles

And, in case you were wondering…

NO…, that’s NOT too much frosting! There is never too much frosting, right?!?!

My Classic Chocolate Cupcakes are …

  • rich in chocolate flavor! (keep reading to find out my secret tip!)
  • INSANELY moist! Forget dry, dense, and crumbly cupcakes!
  • great for newbie bakers! This is a clear, easy-to-follow recipe and no mixer required, not even for the frosting!
  • yummy on their own, but absolutely AMAZING with dark chocolate frosting that has a wonderful consistency for piping gorgeous swirls – perfect for parties or special occasions! 

WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE MY CLASSIC CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES:

Just a few basic pantry ingredients are all you need!

  • Flour:  I use all-purpose flour.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder:  I use dutch-processed, but natural cocoa powder works fine, too. 
  • Coffee:  I use a cup of strong brewed coffee. 
  • Bittersweet chocolate:  I use dark couverture chocolate with 54% cocoa because it’s not overly sweet and it’s perfect for baking. 
  • Sugar:  I use regular white sugar. 
  • Leaveners:  I use baking powder and baking soda to help the cupcakes rise. 
  • Salt:  I use a tiny amount to bring out all the flavors. 
  • Oil:  I use a light vegetable oil. 
  • Egg:  You only need one egg for this recipe. 
  • Buttermilk:  I make my own buttermilk (included in the recipe card below) because I like the tang it gives.

MY SECRET TIP FOR THE BEST CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

I love using a technique called “blooming” because it really intensifies the flavor of the chocolate. Blooming basically refers to mixing unsweetened cocoa powder with a hot liquid and allowing it to sit for a few minutes. This enhances the chocolate and heightens its flavor, but don’t worry, you don’t taste the coffee in the cupcakes at all! I use this technique for my Sugar Free Whole Wheat Cupcakes  and my Easy Vegan Fudge Brownies. I have made these cupcakes without blooming the cocoa, but I found that they weren’t as chocolatey.

HOW TO MAKE CLASSIC CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES:

steps 1 to 4 for chocolate cupcakes

 

steps 6 to 8 for chocolate cupcakes

After that, I like to pour the batter into a small pitcher and then pour it into the cupcake liners.

Then you just bake, cool, and frost!

DARK CHOCOLATE FROSTING

For this recipe, I’ve included an INCREDIBLE dark chocolate frosting! It’s low-sugar, but extremely rich in chocolate! 

This frosting is not the classic buttercream frosting where you beat the butter with a lot of powdered sugar, and it’s not a classic ganache, either, since ganache is just chocolate and cream.

This dark chocolate frosting is somewhere between ganache, chocolate buttercream, and fudge!  

I use dark couverture chocolate with 54% cocoa. The result is amazing! It’s not as sweet as the traditional buttercream frosting, and I think it’s perfect for these chocolate cupcakes. AND YOU DON’T NEED A MIXER TO MAKE IT!

If you decide to make this frosting, just keep in mind that it needs to firm up in the fridge for about 30-50 minutes, so make it first before making the cupcakes.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Make sure you measure the flour  properly for consistent results. Too much flour can make the cupcakes dry.
  • I also suggest using the best quality cocoa powder you can get. If you’re not sure what kind of cocoa powder to use (dutch-processed or natural), check out this post for a more detailed explanation. Both dutch-process and natural cocoa powder work for this recipe.
  • For light and fluffy cupcakes,  don’t overmix the batter, as this will make them dense.
  • For moist cupcakes, I use vegetable oil instead of butter. I think that together with the buttermilk, they really help the cupcakes stay moist longer.
  • The batter for these cupcakes is different compared to my Classic Vanilla Cupcakes in that it’s thin and more liquidy. To make it easier to fill the cupcake liners, I like to pour the batter into a small pitcher and then pour it into the liners. That way I don’t drip the batter all over the place while I’m filling the liners.
  • Fill the liners halfway, otherwise the cupcakes will overflow. They’ll still taste great, but they won’t be that pretty.
  • This recipe makes 14 cupcakes. Instead of lining another cupcake pan with just 2 liners, I use silicone cupcake liners and put them in the oven next to my cupcake pan. To make the silicone liners sturdier since they’re not placed in a pan, I use 2 liners for each cupcake. That way I avoid using another cupcake pan.
  • The dark chocolate frosting can take up to an hour to thicken in the fridge. It will depend on the chocolate and the cream you use and how much fat they have. Check on it every 15 minutes or so until it’s thick enough to spread or pipe. If you leave it in the fridge for too long, though, it will be too thick to pipe.
  • The frosting is enough for 14 cupcakes, but if you want to pipe large swirls on each cupcake, you’ll probably need to double the frosting recipe.
  • The frosting on the cupcakes will firm up once refrigerated. To soften the frosting up, just let the cupcakes come to room temperature.

FREEZING & STORING OPTIONS

Frosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week.

These cupcakes freeze really well. If you want to freeze them, just wrap each one individually without any frosting and then put them in a freezer bag in a single flat row before popping them in the freezer. They can be frozen for up to 2 months. To thaw, just put them in the fridge overnight. You could also thaw them at room temperature, which takes a couple of hours.

Other Cupcake Topping Ideas

Like I said, these cupcakes are delicious plain, but a cupcake wouldn’t really be a cupcake without a delicious topping!

Sometimes, though, I like to switch things up a bit and try something other than dark chocolate frosting! Here are a few ideas you may want to try:

Vanilla buttercream – The all-time classic which is amazing with these chocolate cupcakes! I use vanilla buttercream for my classic vanilla cupcakes. Check out this post for the recipe. You could also adapt it and make chocolate buttercream frosting, too. Just follow the recipe and add ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder.

Powdered sugar – Dusting them with powdered sugar is great for those who aren’t crazy about frosting. You could use stencils to create designs, too, which would look great on chocolate cupcakes 

Marshmallows – You could add a big marshmallow on top of the cupcakes while they’re in the oven one or two minutes before they’re done. The marshmallows will melt and create a luscious topping.

Peanut butter – Melt some peanut butter  in the microwave and spoon it over cupcakes. Delish!

Chocolate sauce You could drizzle some chocoalte suace on top and then add some chopped nuts.

Jam or marmalade You could melt the jam  or marmalade and spoon it over the cupcakes as a glaze. It adds a nice, fruity flavor.

Whipped cream – A dollop of whipped cream is all you need! You could dust some cocoa powder on top, too!

Nutella – Nutella is SO good with these cupcakes! 

Dulce de leche – Spread some dulce de leche on top of the cupcake. Divine!

I hope you enjoy these classic chocolate cupcakes! 

Happy Baking! 

~Voula

classic chocolate cupcake with dark chocolate frosting in a white wrapper

Let me know how these classic chocolate cupcakes turn out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

Classic Chocolate Cupcakes (No Mixer)

These chocolate cupcakes are soft, velvety, moist, and decadent! They’re so easy to make, they’re practically foolproof and you don’t even need a mixer!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: classic, chocolate, cupcakes, no mixer, easy, moist, soft
Servings: 14

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • ½ cup (50 g / 2 oz) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (250 ml / 8.5 fl oz) strong brewed coffee
  • 1 cup + 6 tablespoons (175 g / 6 oz) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼  teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (200 g / 7 oz) sugar
  • ½ cup (125 ml / 4 fl oz) buttermilk at room temperature (or see the NOTES below on how to make your own)
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • 7 tablespoons (100 ml / 3.4 fl oz) light vegetable oil

For the dark chocolate frosting

  • ¼ cup (28 g / 1 oz) powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup (28 g / 1 oz) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3.5 oz (100 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I use dark couverture chocolate with 54% cocoa)
  • ½ stick (57 g / 2 oz) unsalted butter
  • a pinch of salt
  • 7 tablespoons (100 ml / 3.4 fl oz) heavy cream

Instructions

Make the cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Line a 12-cup pan with cupcake liners and prepare 2 more liners (this recipe makes 14 cupcakes). Set aside.
  • Whisk together the hot coffee and cocoa powder until smooth. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Add the sugar and whisk until combined. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, add the buttermilk, oil, and egg and whisk everything together until well combined.
  • Add the coffee mixture to the oil mixture and whisk until it's just combined.
  • Add the flour mixture and whisk until combined, but don't overmix.
  • Pour the batter into the cupcake liners halfway full (I like pouring the batter into a pitcher first to avoid making a mess).
  • Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Cool completely before frosting.

Make the dark chocolate frosting

  • Sift the powdered sugar and the cocoa powder into a saucepan.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients and stir continuously over low heat until everything melts.
  • Pour into a bowl and let it cool for about 10 minutes at room temperature.
  • Put it in the refrigerator for about 30-50 minutes, until it thickens and becomes spreadable. Check on it every 15 minutes or so.
  • Frost the cooled cupcakes.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

How to make your own buttermilk for this recipe:
Add 1/2 tablespoon vinegar to half a cup of milk and stir well. Let it sit for 5-8 minutes before using. 
Frosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week.
The frosting on the cupcakes will firm up once refrigerated. To soften the frosting up, just let the cupcakes come to room temperature.
These cupcakes freeze really well. If you want to freeze them, just wrap each one individually without any frosting and then put them in a freezer bag in a single flat row before popping them in the freezer. They can be frozen for up to 2 months. To thaw, just put them in the fridge overnight. You could also thaw them at room temperature, which takes a couple of hours.
© Pastry Wishes

 

 

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Easy Apple Rose Tart with Dulce de Leche

 This stunning dessert is delicious, yet surprisingly easy to make! Wow your guests with this heavenly apple rose tart with dulce de leche!

apple rose tart with dulce de leche kitchen towel and spatula

I always get so many oohs and ahhs when I make this dessert! 

For some reason, people think it’s complicated because of its pretty design.

Believe me, though, it isn’t!

This tart is similar to the classic French apple tart, but instead of the apple compote on the bottom, I added dulce de leche, instead. The result? AMAZING! Apples are absolutely perfect with dulce de leche!

Why I love this dessert (and I think you will too!):

  • You’ll save time by using ready-made dulce de leche instead of making it, which can take several hours.
  • You don’t need to soften the apple slices first in order to arrange them.
  • You don’t need to pre-bake (or blind bake) the crust.
  • It’s lightly spiced and not overly sweet.

You will need:

  • Tart crust: I make my own pâte sucrée, which is a classic French sweet pastry crust that’s traditionally used for tarts. It’s basically a sweet shortcrust pastry. If, however, you’re pressed for time, you could just buy a ready made tart shell.
  • Dulce de Leche: Dulce de leche is similar to caramel. It’s a beautiful creamy sauce that you can drizzle over cheesecake, ice cream, brownies, or whatever you like, really. It’s slowly cooked over a long period of time. To make things easier and save time, I just use a can of ready-made dulce de leche.
  • Apples: I use Gala apples because they’re mildly sweet and I love the color in the tart (that’s why I don’t peel them), but you could use your favorite variety, instead.

HOW TO MAKE THE SWEET PASTRY CRUST

 

how to make french pastry crust steps 1-4

how to make french pastry crust steps 5-8

MAKE-AHEAD TIP

The tart dough can be frozen for later use. I wrap it in plastic wrap and then place it in 1 or 2 freezer bags to prevent any odors from being absorbed. It can be frozen for up to a month. To thaw, just put it in the refrigerator the night before you want to use it.

HOW TO SLICE THE APPLES FOR THE ROSE DESIGN

Slicing the apples is really simple. After you wash them, here’s what to do:

how to slice apples for apple rose tart 3 steps

I like to keep all the slices in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap so that they don’t brown until I’m ready to use them.

Since the apple slices will be placed vertically in the tart, you can slice the bottoms of the bigger ones so that they’re all the same height. You could do this by stacking a few slices on top of each other and then cutting off a bit of the bottom part that will be placed in the tart.

HOW TO MAKE THIS EASY APPLE ROSE TART WITH DULCE DE LECHE

how to make apple rose tart with dulce de leche 4 steps

 

apple rose tart with kitchen towel, spatula, two apples and three cinnamon sticks

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • I suggest using a mandoline to thinly slice the apples. It just makes everything easier and allows for even baking because all the slices are the same size. If you don’t have a mandoline, you can slice them with a sharp paring knife – they need to be about ⅛  inch (3 mm) thick.
  • Before spreading the dulce de leche on the crust, stir it a few times in a bowl to make it a bit creamier and easier to spread.
  • Keep the butter cubes in the freezer while preparing the other ingredients for the crust. It will stay nice and cold and make it easier to pulse.
  • A removable bottom tart pan will make it really easy to slip off the outer ring without ruining the beautiful, fluted crust. For this recipe, I used a nonstick 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. 
  • Wait at least 1 ½ hours for the tart to cool down before cutting, otherwise it will fall apart.
  • You don’t have to keep the skins on the apples like I did, but if you do, use a serrated knife to slice the tart so that the spiral design remains intact.

SERVING IDEAS

  • I think this tart is best served warm or at room temperature. 
  • A simple, but pretty topping would be dusting the tart with powdered sugar. 
  • It’s also delicious served with vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream.
  • If you want, you could reserve a few tablespoons of the dulce de leche and drizzle it on top before serving.

two apple rose tart slices with two cinnaom sticks, an apple and a kitchen towel

Enjoy!

~Voula

MORE PIE AND DULCE DE LECHE RECIPES!

Easy Blueberry Pie (With Lattice & Crimp Tutorial)

No-bake Banoffee Pie Cups

Let me know how this Easy Apple Rose Tart with Dulce de Leche turns out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

Easy Apple Rose Tart with Dulce de Leche

This stunning dessert is delicious, yet surprisingly easy to make! Wow your guests with this heavenly apple rose tart with dulce de leche!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy, apple, rose, tart, dulce de leche
Servings: 8 -10

Equipment

  • one 11-inch (28 cm) or 9-inch (23 cm) tart pan with a removable bottom

Ingredients

For the pâte sucrée

  • 2 cups (8.8 oz / 250 g) all-purpose flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 stick + 1 tablespoon (125 g) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4 tablespoons (1.8 fl oz / 50 ml) ice water

For the filling & topping

  • 1 can ready-made dulce de leche (13.4 oz / 380 g)
  • 4 - 5 Gala apples, cored and cut into ⅛ inch / 3 mm thick slices
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

Make the pâte sucrée

  • In a food processor, pulse together the flour, salt and sugar until combined.
  • Add the cubed butter, a few at a time (I do it in 3 batches), and pulse until the dough looks like coarse crumbs.
  • In a small bowl, mix the egg yolk together with the ice water and slowly add it to the flour mixture. Pulse until the dough comes together.
  • Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into a ball. Then shape it into a flat disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Prepare the filling & topping

  • In a small bowl, stir the dulce de leche a few times to make it creamier and easier to spread. Set aside.
  • Cut the cored apples in half. Place the cut side down and thinly slice them (about ⅛ inch / 3 mm thick). Place them in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to prevent browning. Set aside 3-4 really thin slices in another bowl with a few drops of water.
  • Preheat oven to 392 °F / 200 °C.
  • Roll out the dough and fit into the tart pan.
  • Spread the dulce de leche on the bottom of the crust.
  • Starting from the edge of the tart, place overlapping apple slices vertically, cut side down. Each slice should overlap the previous one halfway.
  • Continue arranging the apple slices tightly into a spiral until you reach the center of the tart.
  • Roll the 3-4 very thin apple slices together into a spiral shape. Place it in the center of the tart.
  • Sprinkle the entire tart with cinnamon.
  • Bake for 35 minutes or until it's golden brown.
  • Allow it to cool for at least 1 ½ hours before slicing.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Cover any leftovers with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
MAKE-AHEAD TIP
The tart dough can be frozen for later use. I wrap it in plastic wrap and then place it in 1 or 2 freezer bags to prevent any odors from being absorbed. It can be frozen for up to a month. To thaw, just put it in the refrigerator the night before you want to use it.
Pâte sucrée from https://thefrenchcookingacademy.wordpress.com/2018/05/23/french-style-lemon-tart/
© Pastry Wishes
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Easy Healthy Watermelon Slushie (2 Ingredients + Vegan)

There’s nothing like a refreshing watermelon slushie on a hot summer day! This easy, healthy ice cold drink is a perfect way to beat the heat! And with only 2 ingredients, you’ll be making it all summer long!

 

homemade watermelon slushie

Summer wouldn’t be summer without watermelons! They’re cool and refreshing on their own, but they also make AMAZING, thirst-quenching slushies.

This frosty, watermelon slushie recipe is pure summertime in a glass!

Slushies bring back a lot of memories from my childhood! I used to drink them all the time, but I never made my own. When I first made this slushie, I gulped it down so fast I got a brain freeze, just like when I was a kid! 🤪

You will love this recipe because:

  • it’s healthy.
  • it’s great for kids.
  • there’s no added sugar.
  • it’s refreshing.
  • it’s SO easy to make.
  • it’s DELICIOUS!!!

To make it, you only need some watermelon and a little water. That’s literally it!

It can’t get any easier than that!

homemade watermelon slushie

If you want, of course, you could add a few other ingredients to kick it up a notch according to your preferences. Here are some ideas:

Sweetener: Depending on how ripe the watermelon is, you may not need to add any sweetener. But, if it’s not that sweet, you could add a little sugar, stevia, maple syrup, or honey. 

Lemon/Lime: You could use a little bit of lemon or lime juice to add a little tang and enhance the flavor.

Mint: I love mint! You could blend a few leaves to the slushie to make it even more refreshing, if you like!

HOW TO FREEZE WATERMELON

1 Cut the watermelon into even-sized cubes and remove any seeds.

2 Place the watermelon cubes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 

3 Freeze for about 1-3 hours and then make the slushie or freeze overnight and make the slushie the next day.  I prefer freezing it overnight.

HOW TO MAKE EASY HOMEMADE WATERMELON SLUSHIE

1 Put the frozen watermelon in a food processor (or a high-powered blender).

2 Add a splash of water and blend.

That’s it!

homemade watermelon slushie

 

WATERMELON SLUSHIE VARIATIONS

Even though this slushie is great as is, there are lots of different variations you may want to try. 

  • You can use basil instead of mint. I think basil goes really well with watermelon.
  • You can add some strawberries. I also think blueberries would be nice, too. Of course, it would be better if the berries were frozen, but fresh would also work.
  • Coconut milk would give it a really nice tropical twist.
  • For those who drink alcohol, a splash Ouzo would add a nice Greek touch. You could also add Vodka, white wine, or your favorite liquor.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • I have made this without freezing the watermelon, but it turned out more like a juice, rather than a slushie. For best results, freeze the watermelon overnight before you make the slushies.
  • Start off by pulsing for about half a minute and continue until there aren’t any big chunks left, or it reaches the consistency you like. If it’s a bit too thick, you could add a little bit more water. You don’t want to overblend the mixture, though, otherwise it will end up too watery.
  • It’s best served immediately.

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Looking for more summer recipes? You may also enjoy my Easy No-churn Vanilla Ice Cream (+ Secret Ingredient) or my Easy Strawberry Mint Sorbet – No Ice Cream Maker – Refined Sugar Free (+ Vegan Option)!

Let me know how this easy homemade watermelon slushie turned out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

~Voula 😀

 

Easy Healthy Watermelon Slushie (2 Ingredients + Vegan)

There’s nothing like a refreshing watermelon slushie on a hot summer day! This easy, healthy ice cold drink is a perfect way to beat the heat! And with only 2 ingredients, you’ll be making it all summer long!
Course: Dessert, Drinks
Cuisine: American, Greek
Keyword: healthy, watermelon, slushie, frozen, vegan, refined sugar free
Servings: 2 -3

Ingredients

  • 2 cups watermelon, cubed
  • about ½ cup water
  • lemon/lime slices (optional)
  • fresh mint sprigs (optional)

Instructions

Freeze the watermelon

  • Cut the watermelon into even-sized cubes and remove any seeds.
  • Place the watermelon cubes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  • Freeze for about 1-3 hours or overnight. I usually freeze the cubes overnight.

Make the slushies

  • Put the frozen watermelon cubes in a food processor (or a high-powered blender) and pulse for about half a minute, adding a splash of water. Continue until there aren’t any big chunks left, or it reaches the consistency you like, adding more water if necessary. Don't overblend.
  • Serve immediately.
  • If you like, garnish with lemon/lime slices and fresh mint sprigs.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

© Pastry Wishes
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Classic Vanilla Cupcakes

These classic vanilla cupcakes are heavenly! They’re light and fluffy and perfect for any occasion! If you’re looking for an easy vanilla cupcake recipe, look no further! These are the best classic vanilla cupcakes from scratch!

These vanilla cupcakes are wonderful for children’s parties, birthdays, or any celebration! And, they are SO simple to make. This recipe is pretty basic and uses typical pantry items.

I’ve also included a simple vanilla buttercream recipe, but to be honest, I really love these cupcakes plain, especially with coffee in the morning! 

What you’ll need:

Flour:  I use all purpose flour, but you could also you self-rising flour, instead, just omit the baking powder.

Sugar: I use regular, granulated sugar.

Buttermilk: I usually make my own by adding some white vinegar to milk and letting it sit for about 5 minutes.

Egg: I use 1 organic egg.

Vanilla: I like using vanilla extract.

Oil: I use a bit of vegetable oil to keep the cupcakes moist.

Salt: I use just a pinch for flavor.

Baking powder: To help them rise.

Butter: I think the combination of butter and vegetable oil makes these cupcakes more flavorful. You will also need some butter for the buttercream.

Powdered sugar: I use sifted powdered sugar to make the buttercream.

vanilla cupcakes

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & TIPS FOR SUCCESS

What makes cupcakes light and fluffy?

To get really light and fluffy cupcakes, you need to incorporate some air into the batter to create bubbles, but not too much! That’s why you should NEVER overmix the batter, because it literally bursts those air bubbles, making the cupcakes dense and flat. Remember, you’re aiming for light and fluffy cupcakes, not pancakes! 

Why are my cupcakes dry?

There are probably 2 main reasons for this: overbaking and/or adding too much flour.

Overbaking

When you overbake the cupcakes, the excessive heat causes the moisture inside them to evaporate. 

Adding too much flour

You really need to measure the flour correctly in baking. If you pack the flour into the measuring cup, you’ll end up with more flour, which will result in dense and dry cupcakes. Check out my post where I get into more detail about how to measure flour properly and why it’s so important.

How do you make perfect cupcakes every time?

To get consistent results every single time, I highly suggest you use a digital scale. A digital scale also saves me a lot of time because I don’t need to wash any measuring cups or spoons. I just weigh all my ingredients before I start. 

Can you bake cupcakes without liners?

Of course! As long as you grease the pan really well and then flour it before adding the batter.

How do I make cupcakes moist?

In my opinion, 2 things make cupcakes moist: buttermilk and vegetable oil! I think cupcakes made with a combination of buttermilk and vegetable oil also stay moist longer as opposed to ones made with just butter. You could also use brown sugar for moistness, but I usually don’t because it’s sweeter than granulated sugar.

How to make your own buttermilk

I  make my own buttermilk by adding 1/2 tablespoon of white vinegar to a measuring cup and then adding enough milk to make 1/2 cup (125 ml). I just stir it well and let it sit for about 5-8 minutes. It’ll curdle and become thick, just like buttermilk! 

How do I fill cupcake liners without making a mess?

I usually use a cookie scoop to fill the liners a little over halfway full, about 2/3 or 3/4 full. You could also use an ice cream scoop. 

How do I frost cupcakes?

I just use a knife to frost them when I’m not making them for a special occasion. If you want to get creative, you can use a pastry bag fitted with a piping tip. For the cupcakes you see in these pictures, I used a Wilton 1M tip.

vanilla cupcakes

How do I store frosted cupcakes?

You can keep them at room temperature for 1-2 days, but if it’s hot where you live, I would refrigerate them, instead. Frosted cupcakes can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week. Just make sure they’re in an airtight container so they don’t dry out.  

How do I freeze cupcakes?

I always freeze cupcakes plain, without frosting. After they’ve completely cooled, I put them in 2 freezer bags so that they don’t absorb any smells from the freezer. Before sealing the bag, I make sure the cupcakes are sitting flat. I always put them in an area in the freezer where I know they won’t get squashed (obviously)! They can be stored in the freezer for up to about 2 months.

Can I freeze cupcakes in the liners?

Yes, but let them cool COMPLETELY. If you freeze them in the liners while they’re still warm, condensation will form which could make the cupcakes soggy!

How do I thaw cupcakes?

The best way to thaw cupcakes is to put them in the refrigerator overnight. But if you’re impatient like me, you could thaw them on your countertop. Cupcakes don’t really take that long to thaw, although it does depend on where you live and the climate. After taking them out of the freezer and out of the bags, I place them on a cooling rack and cover them with a clean kitchen towel. It usually takes a couple of hours for them to thaw completely at room temperature.

Other ways to top vanilla cupcakes besides frosting

Like I said, these cupcakes are great on their own, but I often add different toppings as buttercream isn’t really popular in my family!

If you’re not crazy about buttercream frosting or want to try something different on vanilla cupcakes, here are a few suggestions:

Powdered sugar or Cocoa powder: Just dust them with some powdered sugar or unsweetened cocoa powder. You could also use stencils and create beautiful designs on top!

Glaze: Make a simple glaze with powdered sugar and water or milk and drizzle over the cupcakes. An oldie, but goodie!

Nutella: Generously spread some Nutella on top. Nutella is great with just about anything, isn’t it?? I don’t think you could ever go wrong with Nutella!

Chocolate: You could melt some of your favorite chocolate and spoon it over the cupcakes. Or, better yet,  you could pour some of this delicious homemade chocolate syrup  on them – yummy!!!

Fresh fruit & Jam: You could also go with something light, like fresh fruit. Sometimes I spread some jam  or marmalade on top of the cupcakes first so the fruit doesn’t fall off.   

VARIATIONS

REAL Vanilla Cupcakes

Using ground vanilla bean powder instead of vanilla extract makes AMAZING cupcakes, especially with all those gorgeous flecks of vanilla inside! I love using ground vanilla bean powder! It made such a difference when I used it in my easy no-churn vanilla ice cream! You should give it a try!

Funfetti Cupcakes

For colorful funfetti cupcakes, add ½ cup sprinkles to the batter.

Filled Cupcakes

You can fill the cupcakes with lots of different sweet treats, like peanut butter, Nutella, jam, fruit, or candy!

Want healthier cupcakes? Check out these Sugar Free Whole Wheat Chocolate Cupcakes!

Let me know how these classic vanilla cupcakes turn out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

~Voula

vanilla cupcakes

Classic Vanilla Cupcakes

These classic vanilla cupcakes are heavenly! They’re light and fluffy and perfect for any occasion! If you’re looking for an easy vanilla cupcake recipe, look no further! These are the best classic vanilla cupcakes from scratch!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: classic, vanilla, cupcakes, easy,
Servings: 12

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • 1 ¼ cup (190 g / 6.7 oz) all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup (57 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup (150 g) sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ cup buttermilk, room temperature (or see the NOTES below on how to make your own)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the buttercream frosting

  • ¾ cup (6 oz / 170 g) unsalted butter, soft, at room temperature, but not melted
  • 3½ - 4 cups (400 g / 14 oz) SIFTED powdered sugar, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1½ - 2 tablespoons milk or heavy cream, plus more as needed
  • gel-based red food coloring (optional)

Instructions

For the cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C.
  • Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  • If you're making your own buttermilk, see the NOTE below and make it now. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until it's creamy.
  • Add the egg and vanilla to the butter mixture and mix well. Then add the buttermilk and oil and mix until everything is fully incorporated.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until JUST combined. Don't overmix.
  • Fill the cupcake liners with the batter, a little over halfway full. I like using a cookie scoop.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • When done, take the cupcakes out of the oven and allow them to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completley.
  • Make sure they are completely cool before frosting them.

For the buttercream frosting

  • Beat the butter until it's soft and creamy, about 5-8 minutes.
  • Add the powdered sugar and the remaining ingredients and beat for at least 5 minutes, until it gets really light. Scrape the sides of the bowl a few times.
  • If the buttercream is too runny, add more powdered sugar. If it's too thick, add a little milk, a teaspoon at a time, until it reaches the consistency you like. If you wish, use a toothpick to add a tiny drop of food coloring and mix well.
  • Frost the cooled cupcakes.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

How to make your own buttermilk for this recipe:
Add 1/2 tablespoon vinegar to half a cup of milk and stir well. Let it sit for 5-8 minutes before using. 
The cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
© Pastry Wishes

 

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EASY HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE SYRUP (WITHOUT CORN SYRUP)

This incredibly easy homemade chocolate syrup is the perfect topping for all your favorite desserts! Make it without any corn syrup in less than 15 minutes! You won’t go back to buying store-bought ever again!

homemade chocolate syrup

Don’t you just want to lick that spoon?!?!?

This homemade chocolate syrup is AMAZING! 

It’s NOT to be confused with hot fudge, which is usually made with butter and cream. This chocolate syrup is like the popular one you would buy in a bottle, only MUCH BETTER!

It’s thick, but pourable!

It’s velvety!

It’s chocolaty!

It’s silky smooth!

It’s sooo delicious and rich in flavor!

AND… 

There is absolutely NO corn syrup in it!

homemade chocolate syrup

I’m not totally against using corn syrup in baking (because there is a difference between corn syrup and high fructose syrup), but I always prefer simple, easier methods, which include few ingredients and produce excellent results.

This recipe is one of them! Perfect, chocolate syrup with basic pantry ingredients!

Why you’ll love this homemade chocolate syrup recipe

  • You know EXACTLY what’s in it! There are only 4 ingredients and NONE of them are artificial!
  • It’s super inexpensive and remarkably easy to make!
  • It tastes so much better than store-bought chocolate syrup!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  • Cocoa Powder: I use good quality, unsweetened cocoa powder. I prefer Dutch processed cocoa powder, but you could use natural cocoa powder, instead.
  • Sugar: I use granulated white sugar. You could adjust the sugar by using more or less, depending on your preferences.
  • Salt: I use a pinch of salt to enhance the chocolate flavor.
  • Cornstarch: I use it because I like my chocolate syrup on the thick side, but if you don’t want it too thick, you can omit it altogether. 
  • Water: I use water instead of cream or milk so that the syrup lasts longer.

HOW TO MAKE EASY HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE SAUCE IN 3 EASY STEPS

STEP 1

Whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, water, and salt over medium high heat. Stir constantly until it begins to simmer.

STEP 2

In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch and water to make a slurry.

STEP 3

Add the slurry to the saucepan and stir until it thickens.

VARIATIONS

  • Add a shot of your favorite liquor.
  • Use light or dark brown sugar for a more caramel flavor.
  • Add ½ – 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
  • Make it spicy! Add a dash of cayenne pepper for a Mexican twist or a dash of black pepper for an ancient Greek twist.   Yes, you read that right! (Check out my post where I explain it!)

How long does it take to make?

It takes about 10 – 12 minutes to make this chocolate syrup. Then you need to wait about an hour for it to cool down before storing it.

What can you use it for?

There are SO many ways you can use this homemade chocolate syrup. Here are a few of my all-time favorites:

Stir it into hot or cold milk.

Stir it into coffee. 

Dip cookies in it.

Drizzle it over buttered toast topped with cinnamon. OMG! It’s one of my faves for breakfast! 

Drizzle it over your favorite desserts, like ice cream, cheesecake, cinnamon rolls, or warm brownies. 

Drizzle it over pancakes, waffles, or French toast.

Pour it over your favorite fruit salad.

Impress your guests by drizzling some on a plate before serving your favorite dessert for a fancy, gourmet food styling presentation!

 

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Try and get the best quality unsweetened cocoa powder you can!
  • Make sure you stir it constantly to prevent it from burning.

HERE ARE A FEW MORE AMAZING CHOCOLATE RECIPES YOU MAY WANT TO TRY: 

Ouzo-spiked Chocolate Orange Cake 

Cheater’s chocolate Mousse (+ Easy Chocolate Garnishes)

Sugar Free Whole Wheat Chocolate Cupcakes 

~Voula

Let me know how this Homemade Chocolate Syrup turns out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

 

homemade chocolate syrup
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5 from 1 vote

EASY HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE SYRUP (WITHOUT CORN SYRUP)

This incredibly easy homemade chocolate syrup is the perfect topping for all your favorite desserts! Make it without any corn syrup in less than 15 minutes! You won’t go back to buying store-bought ever again!
Cook Time12 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate, easy,, homemade, syrup
Servings: 1 1/2 cups (approximately)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (110 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water
  • a pinch of salt

For the slurry

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons water

Instructions

  • In a saucepan, whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and the cup of water over medium high heat.
  • Stir constantly until it begins to simmer.

Make the slurry

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water to make a slurry.
  • Add the slurry to the saucepan and stir until the syrup thickens, about 10 - 12 minutes.
  • Serve warm or allow it to cool completely (for about an hour) and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Notes

The chocolate sauce will thicken as it cools.
This homemade chocolate syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container (like a glass jar) for about 3 weeks.
If you want, you can reheat it over the stove or in 5 minute increments in the microwave, stirring regularly.
© Pastry Wishes
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Easy No-churn Vanilla Ice Cream (+Secret Ingredient)

A foolproof recipe for easy, no-churn vanilla ice cream with lots of flavor options! Plus, a secret ingredient that will take your homemade ice cream to a whole new level!

no churn vanilla ice cream

I love old-fashioned vanilla ice cream because of its creaminess and rich flavor, especially when it’s made in an ice cream maker. It’s traditionally made with an egg custard base, and then it’s slowly churned in an ice cream machine. The flavor, of course, is phenomenal! 

But…

I always had 2 problems with this. 

First, making traditional ice cream is time-consuming. 

Second, I don’t have an ice cream maker.

The solution?

This foolproof recipe!  Although the texture is softer, it tastes just as good, if not better than churned ice cream.

And it’s A LOT quicker and easier as there’s no need for any special equipment other than a hand mixer.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS NO-CHURN VANILLA ICE CREAM

  • It’s cheaper than store-bought.
  • It requires ONLY 3 ingredients. 
  • You don’t need an ice cream maker.
  • There is NO cooking involved.
  • It tastes SOOO good!

THE SECRET INGREDIENT

My secret ingredient is ground vanilla bean powder. It’s a fine powder made by grinding dried vanilla bean pods. It has an AMAZING aroma and a wonderful, distinctive flavor. On the market, you may find ground vanilla bean powder that’s sweetened or has additives, but I suggest you get pure vanilla bean powder without any sweeteners or additives. Compared to vanilla extract, ground vanilla bean powder offers a unique flavor. It’s absolutely incredible!

HOW TO MAKE NO-CHURN VANILLA ICE CREAM

no churn vanilla ice cream steps

After that, cover with plastic wrap and then some aluminum foil and freeze.

no churn vanilla ice creamTo be honest, I never thought that ground vanilla bean powder would make much of a difference! It really blew my mind! Ground vanilla bean powder has become such a game changer for me! It’s a real treasure for home bakers! And I just love those beautiful, tiny black specks, too!

FLAVOR OPTIONS

Cookies and Cream

cookies and cream ice creamJust coarsely crush about 10 Oreo cookies and fold them into the mixture before freezing.

Peanut Butter

Add ½ cup peanut butter to the whipped cream and then follow steps 3-6 in the picture tutorial.

Cinnamon Roll

Add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or cinnamon sugar to the whipped cream and then follow steps 3-6 in the picture tutorial.

Caramel

After the ice cream has half frozen, drizzle about ½ – 1 cup caramel on top and use a knife to swirl it around. Then freeze completely.

Coffee Ice Cream

Add 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder and 2 tablespoons of  Kahlua (or your favorite coffee liquor) into the mixture and then follow steps 3-6 in the picture tutorial.

Chocolate

Add melted bittersweet chocolate (about 8 oz / 225 g) to the whipped cream and follow steps 3-6 in the picture tutorial.

Double Chocolate

Melt about 4.4 oz / 125 g bittersweet chocolate and mix it with ½ cup sifted, unsweetened cocoa powder. Then swirl it into the mixture before freezing or use a mixer to mix it in the base before freezing.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Make sure you use sweetened condensed milk, NOT evaporated milk.
  • Put the can of sweetened condensed milk in the fridge a day ahead.
  • Before whipping the cream, put a metal bowl in the freezer. This will help the cream whip faster.
  • The higher the fat content in the cream, the bigger the volume of the whipped cream.
  • If you’re going to mix in any candy like M&M’s, make sure you chop them first because they get really hard when frozen.
  • Keep in mind that some add-ins may affect the overall freezing time.
  • To make sure your ice cream doesn’t absorb any odors, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil before freezing. This will also prevent any ice crystals from forming on the top.
  • Before storing in the freezer, label it with the date you made it.
  • Store it in the back of the freezer where the temperature stays the same. Don’t put it in the freezer door.

Let me know how this no-churn vanilla ice cream turns out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

no churn vanilla ice cream

Easy No-churn Vanilla Ice Cream (+Secret Ingredient)

A foolproof recipe for easy, no-churn vanilla ice cream with lots of flavor options! Plus, a secret ingredient that will take your homemade ice cream to a whole new level!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy,, no churn, vanilla ice cream, no ice cream maker
Servings: 1 1/2 quarts / kilos (approximately)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (500 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 14-ounce (397g) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground vanilla bean powder (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)

Instructions

  • Whip the heavy cream until it thickens and forms stiff peaks.
  • Add the sweetened condensed milk and mix until just combined.
  • Add the vanilla and mix.
  • Pour into a freezer safe container. Cover with plastic wrap and then some aluminum foil.
  • Freeze for at least 5 hours or overnight.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

You can substitue the ground vanilla bean powder with 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
Put the can of sweetened condensed milk in the fridge a day ahead.
Before whipping the cream, put a metal bowl in the freezer. This will help the cream whip faster.
The ice cream can be stored in the freezer for about  1 ½ months. Make sure to keep it in the back of the freezer where the temperature stays the same. Don't put it in the freezer door.
©Pastry Wishes
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Easy Strawberry Mint Sorbet – No Ice Cream Maker – Refined Sugar Free (+ Vegan Option)

You don’t need an ice cream maker to make this refreshing strawberry mint sorbet! This simple recipe is made with fresh strawberries and mint leaves and includes a vegan option, too!

strawberry mint sorbetSummers in Greece are HOT! So when strawberries are in season, I love making this easy strawberry mint sorbet. It’s sweet, slightly tangy, yet cool and refreshing at the same time! This healthy summer snack is a perfect way to beat the heat!

What is sorbet?

Sorbet is a combination of pureed fruit or fruit juice, and a sweetener which is then frozen. It’s typically made without eggs or milk. Classic sorbet is usually made with a simple syrup consisting of sugar and water.

This recipe, however, is much healthier because it’s made with honey! For a vegan sorbet, just replace the honey with maple syrup!

What you’ll need to make strawberry mint sorbet

  • Strawberries: I use fresh strawberries.
  • Sweetener: I use good quality Greek honey. For a vegan option, use equal amounts of maple syrup, instead.
  • Mint: I use fresh mint leaves.
  • Lemon juice: It really adds a nice tanginess.
  • Liquor: I use Vodka, but you could use your favorite liquor of choice.

How to make strawberry mint sorbet.

There are two different methods I’ve used to make this sorbet.

Method #1

This method is for those who don’t want any seeds or pieces of fruit or mint in their sorbet.

All you do is put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

Taste and adjust the sweetness, adding more honey/maple syrup if needed.

Strain the mixture using a fine mesh strainer or sieve, pressing the pulp with a spatula. Discard whatever remains in the strainer.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour the sorbet mixture onto it. Make sure you evenly spread the mixture on the tray. Then put the tray in the freezer for about 2-3 hours.

After it has frozen, take the tray out of the freezer and break it into small chunks. The chunks should be small enough to fit into your food processor or blender.

Blend or process the pureed chunks using a spatula to scrape the sides and push all the chunks down so that they’re all well blended.

Put it in a freezer-safe container and put it back in the freezer for about 1-2 hours or until frozen.

Method #2

This method is my favorite because it’s quicker and easier! It doesn’t involve any straining, so all the pieces of fruit and mint are in it. Personally, I like the seeds and the tiny pieces of mint and I think they’re healthy. It’s the method I used for all the pictures, too. That’s why you can see the tiny pieces of mint in all the pictures!

Here’s how to make it:

strawberry mint sorbet

Then you put it in the freezer for about 1-2 hours or until frozen.

Why use Vodka in sorbet?

I use Vodka because alcohol reduces the sorbet’s freezing point and it prevents the sorbet from freezing solid. So, the more alcohol you add, the softer the sorbet, which means it can melt fast. That’s why I use a small amount of Vodka. Also, you cannot taste the Vodka at all in the sorbet; I only use it to help give the sorbet a smoother texture and to prevent any ice from forming.

strawberry mint sorbet

 TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Use the best fruit you can find.
  • I really love mint, that’s why I use quite a lot in this recipe. If you’re not crazy about mint, I suggest starting out with a few mint leaves and then tasting the processed/blended mixture to see if you want more. Of course, you could reduce the amount in the recipe or omit it altogether. You could also use basil leaves, instead.
  • Instead of Vodka, you can use your favorite liquor of choice, just keep in mind that it might affect the overall flavor of the sorbet. I use Vodka because you can’t taste it in the sorbet at all, but other liquors might have an aftertaste.
  • Before freezing, cover the sorbet mixture with plastic wrap making sure it’s touching the surface. Then cover securely with aluminum foil or a tight lid. The plastic wrap together with the lid/aluminum foil will prevent ice crystals from forming and it will also protect the sorbet from absorbing odors.

I hope you enjoy this easy strawberry mint sorbet!

~Voula

Let me know how this  Easy Strawbery Mint Sorbet turns out for you in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

strawberry mint sorbet
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5 from 1 vote

Easy Strawberry Mint Sorbet – No Ice Cream Maker – Refined Sugar Free (+ Vegan Option)

You don’t need an ice cream maker to make this refreshing strawberry mint sorbet! This simple recipe is made with fresh strawberries and mint leaves and includes a vegan option, too!
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American, Greek
Keyword: easy,, frozen dessert, no refined sugar, no sugar, honey, maple syrup,, strawberry mint, sorbet,, vegan option
Servings: 3 - 4 (about 1/2 a quart/liter)

Ingredients

  • about 15 strawberries (350g / 12.3 oz) washed, stems removed
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (plus more to taste)
  • a handful of fresh mint leaves (10 g / 0.4 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Vodka (or your favorite liquor of choice)

Instructions

  • Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender.
  • Process/Blend until smooth. Taste and add more honey/maple syrup or mint if necessary.
  • Pour into a freezer-safe container. Even out the mixture.
  • Cover with plastic wrap making sure it’s touching the surface. Then cover securely with aluminum foil or a tight lid.
  • Put it in the freezer until it’s frozen (about 1-2 hours).
  • Garnish with fresh mint leaves.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Store in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
The recipe can easily be doubled.
© Pastry Wishes

 

 

 

 

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NO-BAKE BANOFFEE PIE CUPS

This simple, impressive, no-bake dessert is a twist on an English classic. It’s elegantly luscious and creamy and made in less than 15 minutes!

no bake banoffee pie cups

If you love caramel and bananas and you’re a fan of quick and easy desserts, you will absolutely LOVE this recipe!  It will definitely be hard to resist, especially when topped with homemade whipped cream and chocolate!

What is Banoffee Pie?

Banoffee pie is a popular English dessert made with bananas, whipped cream, and toffee (or dulce de leche) and a buttery, cookie crust. It’s often topped with grated chocolate. The name “Banoffee” comes from the words banana and toffee!

What do you need to make No-bake Banoffee Pie Cups?

For this recipe, instead of making one whole pie, I wanted to make individual cups with 4 main layers – cookie crust, dulce de leche, bananas, and whipped cream.

In the past, I’ve made my own ducle de leche from a can of sweetened condensed milk, which is a bit time-consuming! This time, though, I was too lazy to make my own, so I just got some store-bought dulce de leche, instead, which saved me A LOT of time.

What I really love about this recipe is that you only need a handful of ingredients.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Cookie crust: I made my own using crushed Digestive cookies and butter. You could use graham cracker crumbs or finely crush your favorite cookies.

Dulce de leche: I used store-bought.

Bananas: I used 3.

Whipped cream: I made my own from heavy cream because it’s so much more flavorful than ready-made.

Some chocolate to garnish: I used some chocolate shavings. You could also use chocolate curls or you could just grate some chocolate. This, of course, is totally optional, but I think the shaved chocolate really makes it look pretty and the flavor blends so well with the other ingredients.

Why you’ll absolutely love this recipe.

  • It’s quick and easy.
  • It would be perfect for a dinner party or family get-together, especially if you serve it in pretty dessert cups or wine glasses.
  • It’s great for an upcoming summer cookout.
  • It’s soooo good!

no bake banoffee pie cups

How do you make No-bake Banoffee Pie Cups?

This recipe is really quick!

After making the cookie crumb mixture and whipped cream, the rest is easy! Here’s how to make it.

no bake banoffee pie cups

VARIATIONS

You can play around with different flavors if you want! Here are a few ideas:

  • Drizzle some melted chocolate over the crust or the bananas before adding the dulce de leche and whipped cream.
  • For a salted caramel flavor, add a pinch of salt to the dulce de leche.
  • Instead of chocolate on top, sprinkle with freshly ground coffee, cocoa powder, or even some chopped nuts. The ground coffee is amazing!

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Don’t use low-fat cream – it won’t create thick, stiff peaks. Use really cold heavy whipping cream.
  • I usually put an empty metal bowl in the freezer while preparing the other ingredients. When it comes time to whip the cream, the cold bowl will help it whip faster.
  • I highly suggest you make your own whipped cream! It’s so much better than the ready-made one! Homemade whipped cream holds its shape perfectly, unlike the prepared, store-bought whipped topping which has a tendency to melt!
  • If you can’t find dulce de leche, you can use caramel, instead.
  • Depending on what type of cookies you use, you may need to add a little bit more or less butter.

Looking for more no-bake desserts? Check these out!

Cheater’s Chocolate Mousse (+ Easy Chocolate Garnishes)

Easy Coconut Lush

Easy Vegan Chocolate Truffles 

Greek Halva Cake (Step-by-step Tutorial + Variations)

Rizogalo – Greek Rice Pudding (+ Vegan Option) 

Let me know how these No-bake Banoffee Pie Cups turn out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

 

No-bake Banoffee Pie Cups

This simple, impressive, no-bake dessert is a twist on an English classic. It’s elegantly luscious and creamy and made in less than 15 minutes!
Total Time15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: English
Keyword: no-bake, easy summer dessert, bananas, dulce de leche, banoffee
Servings: 6 - 8 (approximately)

Ingredients

  • 1 can (395 g / 13.4 oz) dulce de leche
  • 3-4 bananas
  • 1 cup (100 g / 3.5 oz) crushed Digestive biscuits or graham cracker crumbs (or your favorite cookies, finely crushed)
  • 50 g (1.7 oz or about 3 ½ tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup (200 ml / 7 fl oz) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar (or more to taste)
  • 60 g / 2.2 oz chocolate shavings, for garnish

Instructions

  • Put an empty metal bowl in the freezer while preparing the other ingredients.
  • In another bowl, mix the dulce de leche with a whisk or a hand mixer for about a minute to make it creamy. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, mix the cookie crumbs and melted butter together. It should look like wet sand. Set aside.
  • Take the metal bowl out of the freezer and pour the heavy whipping cream in it. With a hand mixer, whip the cream on low speed. Add the powdered sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. If you want a sweeter whipped cream, add more powdered sugar. Refrigerate the whipped cream until you’re ready to assemble the dessert.

To Assemble

  • Add 1½ - 2 tablespoons of the cookie crumb mixture to a serving glass or dessert cup. If you wish, even out the mixture with a smaller glass.
  • Peel and slice a banana. Add 3-4 slices on top of the crumb mixture.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of dulce de leche over the banana slices and then add a tablespoon of whipped cream.
  • Repeat the layers (cookie crumbs, banana slices, dulce de leche, and whipped cream).
  • Garnish with chocolate shavings.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve. You can store it in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Low-fat cream won’t form thick, stiff peaks.
If you can’t find dulce de leche, you can use caramel, instead.
Depending on what type of cookies you use, you may need to add a little bit more or less butter.
© Pastry Wishes
 
 
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The Best Carrot Cake (Easy + Tips)

There’s nothing quite like homemade carrot cake with cream cheese frosting! This scrumptious carrot cake is remarkably moist and ridiculously easy to make! It would be a perfect Mother’s Day gift, too!

carrot cake

This super simple, made-from-scratch carrot cake is wonderfully spiced, moist, and delicious. It’s topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting which is decadently luscious and fluffy.

I will never forget the first time I made this cake! I had recently gotten married and I wanted to make it for my husband because he had never tried it before. When I mentioned it to him, his response was something along the lines of …

“Carrots in a cake! Who on Earth would put carrots in a cake! That sounds  gross!”

So, I ignored him and made it anyway. Of course, after he tried it, he immediately became a carrot cake convert! It’s now his favorite cake – he even likes it more than chocolate cake! Go figure!

OMG! This cake!

You will absolutely LOVE it, too! I’m sure it will become your new go-to carrot cake recipe!

Instead of 2 layers, you could make the cake in a 9 x 13 inch (23 X 33 cm) pan or even a tube pan.

But I think a 2 layer cake is really pretty and impressive, though, don’t you?

carrot cake

This cake is made with only a few, simple ingredients.

Here’s what you’ll need:

flour

sugar

baking soda

ground cinnamon & ground nutmeg

salt

vegetable oil

eggs

milk

grated carrot

unsweetened, shredded/ground coconut

a few whole walnuts or pecans (to decorate)

Ideas for Add-ins

If you wish, you could add some raisins, chopped walnuts/pecans, or even toasted nuts. To be honest, though, I always avoid these add-ins because I feel they overpower the spices in the cake. Also, I find that the cake isn’t as tender with the add-ins, but this is my own preference. Feel free to add in whatever you like.

THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP FOR THE BEST CARROT CAKE EVER

Why use freshly grated carrots? Can’t I just finely chop them in a food processor?

This is really important – probably the greatest tip I could ever give!

YOU NEED TO GRATE THE CARROTS BY HAND – DO NOT FINELY CHOP THEM IN A FOOD PROCESSOR!!!

I cannot stress this enough!

I once experimented to see how this cake would turn out if I put the carrots in the food processor instead of grating them by hand. I mainly did this so that I could save some time, which I did, but …

the result???  A COMPLETE FLAVOR DISASTER!!! Why? Let me explain.

See all those tiny pieces of shredded carrots popping out in the photo below?

carrot cake

When I put the carrots in the food processor instead of shredding them by hand, I could barely see them in the cake. And worst of all, I could barely taste them! When the carrots are chopped so small, they’re practically invisible in the cake – almost as if they’re not in the cake at all!

Finely grated carrots by hand, though, will add just the right texture without making the cake crunchy.

So, I vowed NEVER to do that again and I promised to warn all fellow home bakers whenever I get the chance!

That time has come, my friends!

Bottom line: GRATE YOUR CARROTS BY HAND USING A BOX GRATER – DO NOT FINELY CHOP THEM IN A FOOD PROCESSOR!

More Tips for Carrot Cake Success

  • Make sure all your ingredients have come to room temperature before you begin.
  • Measure the flour correctly! Too much flour can make the cake dry and crumbly, and too little can make it dense and cause it to fall while baking.
  • Weighing all the ingredients with a digital scale will give consistent results.
  • Peel the carrots before grating them. Otherwise, they’ll leave a bitter aftertaste in the cake.
  • Avoid using packaged shredded carrots because they tend to be drier and thicker than freshly grated carrots. Freshly grated carrots add moisture and help make the cake moist. When you grate the carrots by hand, you’ll notice they’re a bit wet. This is what we’re looking for!
  • The secret to a super moist carrot cake is vegetable oil! Butter or margarine will not give the same results.
  • Do not overmix the batter. Mix everything until just combined.
  • Let the cakes cool in their pans for about 15 minutes. Then remove the cakes from the pans and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. This will ensure you don’t damage them so they look pretty when it comes time to decorate!

How to Freeze Unfrosted Cakes

You can easily freeze the cakes if you want to plan ahead for a future event.

  • Make sure the cakes have cooled completely.
  • Tightly wrap each cake layer in plastic wrap and then put them in sealable freezer bags. The cakes can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • To thaw, put the cakes in the refrigerator overnight or let them come to room temperature, about 3 hours.

 TIPS FOR THE BEST CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

This cream cheese frosting is slightly tangy and goes so well with carrot cake. All you need is butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar. You can use salted butter if you want to balance the sweetness.

I also suggest using full-fat cream cheese as opposed to the low fat kind because it helps to make the frosting thick. This frosting is perfectly spreadable, but if you want to decorate the cake with a piping bag, just put it in the refrigerator (covered) for about half an hour to stiffen it up a bit.

Tips for Assembling & Decorating the Cake

  • Before I pour the batter into each pan, I weigh it first and then divide it equally between both pans. This not only ensures that the cakes are the same size and weight, but they will also bake evenly.
  • If you want to get fancy, you could trim the cakes to make them flat on the top and then save the trimmings, but I don’t usually bother.
  • Make sure the cake has cooled completely before frosting it. If you frost the cake while it’s still warm, you’ll end up with a melted, messy, cream cheese frosting!

I hope you enjoy this amazing carrot cake!

~Voula

Let me know how this carrot cake turned out for you in the comments.

I’d love to hear from you!

The Best Carrot Cake (Easy + Tips)

There’s nothing quite like homemade carrot cake with cream cheese frosting! This scrumptious carrot cake is remarkably moist and ridiculously easy to make! It would be a perfect Mother’s Day gift, too!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: carrot cake, cream cheese frosting, Mother's Day, homemade,
Servings: 10 - 12

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 2½ cups (320 g / 11.3 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups (300 g / 10.6 oz) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoonground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup light vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 ½ cups (265 g / 9 oz) grated carrots (about 4-5 large carrots), peeled first
  • ½ cup (60g) unsweetened, shredded/ground coconut
  • about 20 whole walnuts or pecans (optional)

For the frosting

  • 225 g (8oz) full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ½ cups (560 g / 1lb 1.4 oz) powdered sugar, plus an extra ½ cup if needed

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 °F / 165°C.
  • Grease & lightly flour 2 8-inch (20 cm) pans & line them with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  • Add the oil, eggs (one at a time), and milk. Beat on low speed until well combined, scraping the bowl often. Add the carrots and the coconut and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl once or twice. Do not overmix.
  • Weigh the batter and pour equal amounts into the prepared pans.
  • Bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Let them cool in the pans for about 15 minutes. Then remove the cakes from the pans and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the cream cheese frosting

  • Beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla on low speed until smooth and creamy.
  • Gradually add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl often.
  • Add the extra ½ cup powdered sugar if you want the frosting a bit stiffer and thicker.
  • Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.

Assemble & frost the cake

  • Place a cake layer on a platter or a cake stand. Top with half of the frosting. Place the other cake layer on top and use the remaining frosting to frost the top. Decorate with whole walnuts or pecans.
  • Store in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 5-6 days.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Baking time
All ovens are different, so baking times may vary. Check on the cake after about 45 minutes.
To freeze unfrosted cakes
Make sure the cakes have cooled completely.
Tightly wrap each cake layer in plastic wrap and then put them in sealable freezer bags. The cakes can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To thaw, put the cakes in the refrigerator overnight or let them come to room temperature, about 3 hours.
To freeze the cream cheese frosting
The cream cheese frosting can be frozen for up to 2 ½ months. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator and beat it for about a minute to make it creamy.
© Pastry Wishes
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