Jo’s Chocolate Fudge Icing


  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 12 tablespoons butter
  • 12 tablespoons milk


Mix sugar, butter and milk in pot on stove top.  Bring to a boil and boil for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Remove from stove and stir in chocolate chips.  Place pot in a pan of ice water, stirring to help cool down and thicken.


Chocolate Coconut Pound Cake | Desserts

We topped this with fresh strawberry ice cream and it was delicious!

Chocolate Coconut Pound Cake
Adapated from Bon Appetite


  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup virgin coconut oil, room temperature
  • 1½ cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
Preheat oven to 325°. Butter a loaf pan; line with parchment paper, leaving a overhang on the sides to help with removing the cake. Stir together flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl; set aside.
Using a stand mixer on medium-high speed, beat oil, ¼ cup butter, and 1½ cups sugar until pale and fluffy, 5–7 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions; beat until mixture is light and doubled, 5–8 minutes. Stir in vanilla.
Reduce mixer speed to low and add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients (do not overmix; it will cause cake split). Scrape batter into buttered pan. Sprinkle with coconut and remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar.
Bake cake, covering lightly with foil if coconut browns too much before cake is done (it should be very dark and toasted), until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 70–80 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cake cool in pan 20 minutes before turning out.

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Cake

Moist Chocolate Cake
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour Blend
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup brewed, cooled coffee, or water
  • 4 large eggs
Sift  flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa, and sugar into a medium bowl.
Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and and mix at low speed for 1 minute. With the mixer running, add the oil.
Combine the vanilla with the milk and coffee or water.  Beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, alternately add flour mixture and milk mixture. Mix at low speed until combined, stop and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then mix for 30 seconds.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well at medium-high speed between additions. The batter will be thin.
Pour the batter into two 9″ greased round pans. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 28 to 30 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack before frosting.
Chocolate Hazelnut Cream Cheese Mousse
Adapted from Cookies and Cups
  • 8 oz whipping cream
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup chocolate hazelnut spread
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk, whisk the cream on high speed until peaks form, about 2 minutes.  Refrigerate until ready to use.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the cream cheese and hazelnut spread until smooth. With mixer on low, slowly add powdered sugar and vanilla, beat until smooth.
Fold in whipped cream.

Key Lime Pound Cake

Unseasonably warm weather in Virginia Beach has us longing for beach days despite of the date on the calendar. To make it feel just a little bit more like summer, we enjoyed this Key Lime Pie Pound Cake.

Key Lime Pound Cake
Adapted from Southern Living

  • 1 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/4 cup Key lime juice
  • Double Batch of Key Lime Glaze (Recipe Follows)

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. At low speed, beat into butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in vanilla, lime zest, and lime juice. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch loaf pan.
3. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack.
4. Cover with Key Lime Glaze and enjoy!

Key Lime Glaze


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp key lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1.  Whisk together and use immediately!

Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Much to my surprise, Forrest asked for a vanilla cake for his birthday.  While I typically would make Magnolia Bakery’s recipe, I decided to try something new.  Boy, was I glad I did!  This cake was so moist that had it lasted more than 3 days, it probably would have grown mold.

Moist Vanilla Cake
Adapted from Baking Bites


1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature and cubed
1 large egg
2 egg yolks
1 cup buttermilk (I used 1 cup milk + 1 tbsp lemon juice)
2 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Drop butter into the bowl with the flour mixture. Mix on low speed until mixture looks sandy and no large chunks of butter remain, 1-2 minutes.

In a bowl, combine egg, egg yolks, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Beat lightly with a fork until combined. With mixer on low, slowly add buttermilk mixture until combined.  Batter will be pretty thin.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, and the cake has begun to pull slightly away from the sides of the pan.

Turn cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely and peel off parchment paper before frosting.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting


1/4 cup butter, room temperature
4-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3 tbsp cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted


In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth. Sift in cocoa powder and beat until smooth.

Add in cream and vanilla, along with about 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar. Mix at medium speed until very smooth.

Continue adding confectioners’ sugar until frosting is thick, smooth and spreadable.

Devil’s Food Cupcakes and Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Devil’s Food Cake
Adapted from Magnolia Bakery- More from Magnolia
2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 tsps vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three 12 cup muffin pans with cupcake papers. Set aside. In a small bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the butter into cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes for 15 minutes before removing from tins to cool completely.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Adapted from Magnolia Bakery- More from Magnolia

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6-8 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tsps vanilla extract

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, 3-5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition, until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. Use and store at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.

New York–Style Cheesecake

For Mother’s Day dessert I served fresh picked organic strawberries with a delicious cheesecake. 

New York–Style Cheesecake
Adapted from Bon Appetit Desserts

For the crust
9 whole graham crackers, broken into pieces
5 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
3 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the filling
Five 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I did a tbsp vanilla bean paste)
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour


Make the crust
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C).

2. Grind the graham crackers to coarse crumbs in a food processor or with a rolling pin and a resealable plastic bag. Add the butter and sugar and process or stir until the crumb mixture is well blended and begins to stick together.

3. Press the crumb mixture onto the bottom (but not the sides) of a 9-inch-diameter spring-form pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Bake the crust until golden and firm to touch, about 25 minutes. Cool the crust in the pan on the rack. Wrap the outside of the pan with 3 layers of heavy-duty foil. Keep the oven at 325°F (163°C).

Make the filling

4. While the crust bakes, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until blended.

5. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing just until just blended after each addition. Then add the egg yolk, scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in the lemon juice, vanilla, and salt. Sift the flour over the filling and beat on low speed just until blended. Scrape the filling over the cooled crumb crust.

6. Place the foil-wrapped cake pan in a large roasting pan. Place the roasting pan on the oven rack, pulling the rack out slightly. Carefully add enough hot water to the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake the cheesecake in the water bath, rotating the pan once halfway through, until the center is softly set, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove the roasting pan from the oven.

7. Let the cake pan stand in the water bath for 5 minutes. Remove the cake pan from the water bath and transfer it to a wire rack. Using a sharp, slender knife, work around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake. Cool completely at room temperature. Cover and—here’s the hard part—refrigerate overnight or for up to 2 days prior to slicing.