Category Archives: cakes

Halloween Devil Food Cup Cakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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I love holidays! I love cooking for holidays, decorating for holidays and entertaining for holidays. I like to make every holiday possible, a little special event, especially with my cooking!  My niece tells me, I should make my house by the bay  like the house in  ” Holiday Inn”. This is a  classic movie with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. Bing Crosby’s character in the film , moves to Connecticut and buys a country inn. Bing turns the inn into a super club  open only on the holidays and is off the rest of the year. If I could make that work, believe me, I would do it. With my love of holidays out in the open, you can be sure that I will be blogging recipes before each holiday in order for you to celebrate. With Halloween arriving in few days here are two treats to make. Start the morning right with pumpkin muffins. With anticipation of the day ahead, get the holiday going with this tasty treat, the aroma in your home will be intoxicating. The next recipe is a devil foods  cupcake with cream cheese icing the kids and adults will love it. Trick or treat!

From by the bay, wishing you treats and fond food memories!

blog pumpkin muffins

Pumpkin Muffins

Makes 12 muffins


Muffin batter

1 ¾ cup flour

¾ cup fine granulated sugar

½ cup dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground allspice

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

2/3 cup sour cream

½ cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon honey

2 eggs

½ cup pumpkin puree


1 tablespoon fine granulated sugar

½ teaspoons ground cinnamon


In a small bowl mix topping by combining sugar and cinnamon and set aside. In another bowl mix together dry ingredient s of sugar, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice and ginger. Using another bowl combine sour cream, oil, honey, eggs and pumpkin puree. Whisk together. Add ingredients to the dry ingredients in the other bowl. Mix until incorporated, batter will be lumpy don’t over mix. Take a lined 12 muffin tin and fill each muffin tin to 2/3 with batter. Top the batter with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Bake in a preheated 400 degrees F oven for 20-22 minutes or until tester comes out clean.  Remove from oven and cool on rack.

blog hallow cupcakes

Halloween Devil Food Cup Cakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

12 cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes

1/3 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg

2/3 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla

2/3 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups flour

2 squares melted chocolate


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add egg and mix well.  Add the dry ingredients alternating with buttermilk and vanilla and beat well. Melt chocolate squares in microwave, heat 30 seconds remove and stir with a spoon until melted. If chocolate is not completely melted repeat process.  Cool for 5 minutes and add into the batter combining well.  Place paper liners into a 12 muffin tin. Place batter into each cup until about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for 25 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Keep in airtight container until ready to frost and eat.

Tip: If you don’t have buttermilk substitute 2/3 cup milk with one tablespoon of white vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes.

 Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup confectionery sugar

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla


Mix the above ingredients until smooth. Keep in air tight container in the refrigerator until ready to frost and eat the cupcakes. After you frost the cupcakes decorate with sprinkles, crush candy or chocolate cookies.


Chocolate Crumb Cake

blog choc crumb cake
Chocolate Crumb Cake
Serves 6-8
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup sifted cocoa powder
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon coffee
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate , melted to drizzle on top
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease an 8″ square baking pan with butter. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Make topping for cake by combining all dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir in melted butter and place in the refrigerator to cool for about 15 minutes, While topping is cooling place the 2 ounces chocolate and melt in microwave for 30 seconds, remove and stir. If not completely melted repeat again and stir , then set aside to cool. Use an electric mixer and cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add egg and mix well. Add vanilla and cooled chocolate and mix again. Alternate adding the flour and baking soda with the coffee . once combined pour batter into baking pan and spread out with spatula. Remove the crumb topping from the refrigerator and crumble the topping over the batter. Place in the oven to bake the on the center rack for 25 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for another 20-25 minutes until tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack 15 minutes, Turn cake out onto rack remove parchment paper and turn upright onto plate. Microwave the remaining ounce of chocolate as before and use a spoon to splatter the melted chocolate across the top of the cake. let the chocolate cool and harden on the crumb cake for about 30 minutes and serve.

Mitzi’s Plum Cake

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Mitzi’s Plum Cake

¼ pound unsalted butter softened plus 1 tablespoon

½ cup fine sugar, plus 1 teaspoon for topping the cake

1 egg

1 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

6 italian plums

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Split plums and remove pits. Place plums in bowl, cover with lemon juice, mix and set aside. Using electric mixer combine  ¼ lb butter and sugar until fluffy, then add egg and combine. Next add  the flour and  baking powder and combine. This makes a soft dough.  Take an 8” non stick cake pan line with parchment and butter and flour the pan. Press the dough into the pan covering the bottom of the cake pan. Use a spatula to spread evenly on the bottom of the pan. Press plums into dough with the cut side facing up in a concentric circle. Combine 1 teaspoon sugar with ½ teaspoon cinnamon, mix and sprinkle on top of the plums. Dot with extra butter. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, until  cake tester is clean.

Variations: replace plums with apricots or peaches

Citrus Pistachio Pound Cake

This buttery pound cake is filled with the taste of fresh citrus for tang and green pistaschios for crunchy texture. This cake looks and taste like the sunhsine in Spring.  Enjoy this dessert and say good bye to winter!! No looking back.From by the bay wishing you tangy citrus food memories!


Citrus Pistachio Pound Cake
Recipe published in Bon Appetit 2012 from The Tasting Room in Houston Texas
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 cups all-purpose flour plus more
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped, divided
Arrange a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 325°. Coat a 9x5x3″ loaf pan with nonstick spray. Dust pan with flour; tap out excess.Whisk 2 cups flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2–3 minutes. Add sugar; beat until well incorporated, 1–2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions. Add juices and zests; beat until well combined (mixture will look curdled), 2–3 minutes. Add dry ingredients; reduce speed to low and beat just until blended. Fold in 3/4 cup pistachios. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup pistachios over.Bake cake, rotating halfway through, until a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely in pan. Run a sharp knife around sides to loosen; unmold cake. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.