17 Autumn Desserts to Welcome the Season!

I just love fall. The cool crisp air. The gorgeous vibrant colors. And of course, most of all, the wonderful, aromatic flavors of autumn ingredients. Pumpkins, winter squash apples, cinnamon, caramel and spice! There’s nothing better than that. This collection of 17 Autumn Desserts is proof of my love for baking treats with these ingredients.

17 Autumn Desserts

 

 

Pumpkins are for more than Decorating!

1) This Caramel Pumpkin Cake is one of those that quickly jumped to the top [Read more…]

18 Fantastic Easter Desserts You Should Try

We’re just a handful of days away from Easter and it’s a reminder of all things fresh and new. The traditions that come along with each holiday are part of what make them so special, not necessarily the activities themselves, but the significance of each one and the chance to enjoy them together. We all celebrate in a different way, maybe it’s a sunrise worship service or an Easter Egg hunt with the kids, or a decadent brunch. However we choose to celebrate, there will be together time and there will be food! And it won’t be any old dish, it will be something special, and that’s why I’ve gathered 18 fantastic Easter desserts for your celebration this weekend.

18 Fantastic Easter Desserts

18 Fantastic Easter Desserts

It’s always nice to have new options to add to some of those traditions, so we’ve found several types of yummy Easter desserts to add to your menu and grocery list this week. Some are more traditional, some are the perfect combination of quick and impressive, others involve fresh fruits and then I’ve even thrown in a few the kids can do with you. Whichever you choose, there are plenty of options to enjoy making and eating together!

For those who love the fresh taste of fruit in dessert

Strawberry Pie – This is a classic that you can never really go wrong with.

Pound Cake  with fresh berries and whipped cream – There are so many beautiful and tasty ways to serve this crowd pleaser.

Lemonade Cake – A personal favorite of mine.

Grilled Pineapple Dessert – A dessert that can be made on the grill and involves fruit is a perfect way to welcome spring.

Strawberry Shortcake – Another fun dessert with fresh strawberries.

Cherry Limeade Cake – Tasty, not fussy to make and it looks beautiful.

For those who want to get the kids involved

Meyer Lemon Pies – This one literally only has 3 ingredients.

Nutter Butter Banana Pudding – Have you ever met a kid who doesn’t love pudding or Nutter Butters?

Double Chocolate Mousse – A recipe that starts with brownie mix, chocolate mousse, and whipped cream is sure to impress those gathered around the table when the kids announce that they made it.

Coconut Cream Chocolate Dessert – There are several steps for this one, but each one is quick, making it fun for the kids to help create and serve.

For those who need to save time or oven space

Easy Pineapple Carrot Cake  – It’s Carrot Cake with the word Easy in front of it, which makes it a great option with all the other cooking for your dinner

Key Lime Mousse – A fresh, fruity dessert than can be prepped and ready ahead of time

Lemon Cheesecake Dessert -Easy, fresh and perfect for warm spring Easters!

Tuxedo Bars – These bars are made in a 9 x 13 pan and start with a cake mix, so they save lots of time, and the kids can even help

Chocolate Cheesecake – This cheesecake can be made in the crock pot, and you don’t have to be a Cheesecake expert to make it either.

For those who want something extra special

Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Fresh Berries – It may surprise you to find Pavlova included on several traditional Easter Dessert menus until you see this light beauty with a delicious ingredient list!

Baked Pineapple Dessert – One of those desserts that look way more complicated than it really is, and is great for Easter!

Zucchini carrot cake – You simply have to include carrots on the Easter menu somehow!

Coconut Pineapple Crisp with coconut macadamia nut ice cream – This recipe is great for those who are sensitive to gluten, and having a tasty dessert is quite a treat for those on special diets

Now it’s your turn …

Now all that’s left to do is pick your favorite Easter Dessert! The hard part is picking just one to create the sweetest final course to your Easter meal. Go ahead and pin the lovely  Easter desserts below. Keep it in your Pinterest board to find all these yummy desserts again for your next special event. Even if that event is a family dinner on a Tuesday night. When family and friends are gathered around the table it’s a meal worth celebrating!
18 fantastic Easter desserts

Chocolate Mocha Pudding Cake

Pudding Cake, also known as Chocolate Cobbler, has been around for quite some time. It’s quick and easy to make, requires just a few ingredients, and the results are fantastic. I mean, what could be better than chocolate cake, and a layer of luscious chocolate pudding (think lava cake on a large scale)? Oh yeah…adding coffee could make it better!

Pudding Cake CollageIf you are a coffee lover, and you like chocolate, then this dessert is for you! It will definitely make an appearance at my house again. Even my girls liked it, and they don’t drink coffee except for the occasional Starbuck’s Frappuccino – which is so full of cream and chocolate chips that it’s a dessert as well.   [Read more…]

Black Forest Cherry Ice Cream Dessert

Black Forest Cherry Ice Cream Dessert

 

My original thought with this dessert was to make it into a “cake” like Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwich Cake or Candy Cane Fudge Ice Cream Sandwich Cake. But I wasn’t sure the cherries would make that process easy.

So this time, I made more of a trifle dessert instead.  Only, I have no trifle bowl.  I searched around in my cabinets and found this pretty cut glass bowl that I rarely use.  I think I need to start getting it out and using it more often.  It’s too pretty to leave in the cabinet all the time.

This dessert starts with ice cream sandwiches.  You can use any type of dish you like to make it.  Or even assemble it as individual servings in small glasses or jars.  Either way, it makes a nice Valentine’s dessert.

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

Biscoff Cereal Treats w/Chocolate-Butterscotch Frosting

If you still haven’t tried Biscoff Cookie Spread, then I strongly recommend it! It is a favorite in my house, and I have to make myself not eat it straight from the jar with a spoon. Yes, it’s that good! Another favorite around here are cereal treats. I know that traditionally they are made with Rice Krispies, but I often make them with remnants of cereal in the pantry. I really like using Cheerios, or in this case ‘Joe’s O’s’ from Trader Joe’s.

Biscoff Cereal with frostingI needed a quick and easy dessert to take to church the other evening (after I had a pie that turned out, uhmmm, let’s just say, less than desirable!) so I searched my cabinets and came up with these. I’ve made cereal treats with Biscoff before, but the chocolate-butterscotch topping really put these over the top. They were delicious!

Biscoff Cereal Treats EAHOf course, a few pumpkin sprinkles on top makes them even better (according to my children!)

Biscoff Cereal Treats w/Chocolate-Butterscotch Frosting

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cereal crispies, O's, etc.
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup Cookie Butter
  • 1 bag of mini marshmallows

For topping

  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • Sprinkles optional

Instructions

  1. Grease a 9x13 dish, set aside.
  2. Melt butter and cookie butter in a large pot on medium heat, add marshmallows.
  3. Stir until marshmallows are melted.
  4. Remove from heat and add cereal.
  5. Stir until cereal is completed coated.
  6. Spread cereal mixture into greased pan. It's going to be sticky!

Tip - Spray hands with cooking spray and press cereal into pan. Be careful, it's hot!

For Frosting

  1. Combine chocolate and butterscotch chips in a microwave safe bowl.
  2. Microwave on high for 45 seconds.
  3. Stir.
  4. Continue microwaving in 15 second intervals until melted, stirring after each 15 seconds.
  5. Spread melted chocolate mixture over cereal treats.
  6. Add sprinkles if desired.
  7. Chill for a few minutes for topping to firm up.

These came together quickly and easily, and no one was the wiser that I had a  flat, sunken pie at home (that the kids and I still ate!)

KimM is a contributing writer for Eat at Home. She lives in NC with her husband, three children, and 2 fur babies. You can find her blogging about her kitchen adventures at Makin’ it Mo’Betta

Pumpkin Spice Eclair Cake w/Chocolate Frosting {No Bake}

Eclair Cake is one of those desserts I see often at potlucks, family gatherings, and is a personal favorite of mine. If you are not familiar, it’s a no bake dessert that is made up of just a few simple ingredients: graham crackers, vanilla pudding, cool whip, and usually chocolate frosting (but I’ve also seen it with chocolate pudding on top).

Pumpkin Eclair Cake top

I decided to make this dessert for a church dinner, and as I was getting my supplies from the grocery store, I spied this…

pumpkin spice pudding

HOLD THE PHONE! Pumpkin Spice pudding?! I immediately scooped up several packages, and then the idea of substituting the pumpkin spice pudding for the vanilla pudding, and using cinnamon graham crackers instead of regular in the eclair cake came to me. It sounded seasonal and delicious…and it was!

Pumpkin Eclair Cake IngredientsI realized too late that the milk was left out of the picture, but I used skim. You could use any kind you like, and I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t use almond, soy, etc., but I’ve never tried it.

Pumpkin Eclair Cake CollageAs I mentioned, I made this to take to church, so I couldn’t get a picture of the inside of the cake after I made it. However, I assumed I would be able to quickly (and discreetly) take a phone pic after people started cutting into it. Well, that didn’t go according to plan. When I got to the dessert table, it was gone! Only some crumbs of frosting remained, and someone even came along and licked the spoon before taking it to the kitchen 🙂 Luckily, I had snagged a few bites from one of my children’s plates, so I can attest that it was very tasty.

I usually make this in a 9 x 13 pan, but on this occasion, I made 2 8 x 8’s  – one pumpkin spice and one regular eclair cake. (The regular cake was also eaten before I got to the dessert table!) The following recipe is for the 9 x 13 size.

Pumpkin Spice Eclair Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients

  • 1 box Cinnamon Graham Crackers you will have some leftover
  • 2 boxes Instant Pumpkin Spice Pudding mix
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 container Cool Whip
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon optional
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice optional

For Frosting -

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Mix 2 boxes of instant pudding with 3 cups milk. Stir until it begins to thicken.
  2. Fold in container of Cool Whip.
  3. Line a 9 x 13 pan with single layer of graham crackers.
  4. Spread 1/3 of pudding mixture on top of crackers.
  5. Place another layer of graham crackers on top of pudding.
  6. Repeat layers, ending with pudding mixture.
  7. Place in refrigerator to chill while making frosting*

For the Frosting

  1. Mix sugar, cocoa and milk in a medium size pot.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat - stirring the entire time with a wooden spoon.
  3. Boil for one minute (still stirring!)
  4. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla.
  5. Mix until it just starts to thicken - don't let it thicken too much or it is difficult to spread over cake. Pour over pudding layer of cake. Icing will 'set' on cake.

Time Saving Tip - If you do not want to make homemade icing/frosting, you can take a store-bought can of frosting, heat in the microwave, and pour over cake.

  1. Allow cake to chill in refrigerator for about 4 hours or overnight before serving so the graham crackers can soften and create a cake like texture.

I like to divide my pudding into thirds when layering my eclair cake, but if you want a thicker pudding layer, you can just divide it in half, ending with graham crackers on top. I’ve made it both ways, I just prefer a thinner pudding layer. It’s an easy dessert that always goes over well! What do you like to bring to potluck/cover dish dinners?

KimM is a contributing writer for Eat at Home. She lives in NC with her husband, three children, and 2 fur babies. You can find her blogging about her kitchen adventures at Makin’ it Mo’Betta

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Sauce in the Slow Cooker

Note from Tiffany: This is Kate’s recipe and post, but I couldn’t wait to make this cake! So I’ve added a few notes and photos of my own here too.

It doesn’t really feel like fall here yet, but I figure that as soon as kids are back in school, all things fall are fair game. Including pumpkin! I’ve been playing with pumpkin recipes for a while, and this was by far my favorite creation. I’d been trying to nail down a recipe for pumpkin cake to try, but when I couldn’t find one that included everything I wanted, I just went ahead and created my own. I love that it only needed a few ingredients and I loved that since it’s made in the slow cooker, I could set it up before company came and then serve a nice warm dessert after we’d all finished dinner.

ChocolatePumpkinCake2

If you wrapped all the goodness of fall up in one dessert, you’d get this cake. It’s a super moist chocolate pumpkin cake that’s cooked with a creamy caramel sauce. The caramel starts out onto and as it cooks it works its way to the bottom, creating a deliciously sticky layer. Served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and it’s fall heaven!

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chocolate Cake with Caramel Sauce

 

Tiffany’s note: I think you can see in the photos that Kate’s caramel sauce was more saucy and mine turned out more gooey (it set up more).  I think that’s because mine cooked for 3 hours on high and in a pretty big crockpot.  If I’d used a smaller crock, I think that would have kept the sauce from setting up.  I think a 4 quart crock is a better size for this recipe.  Even though the caramel set up a bit, it was still delicious.

If you want to make this (and I know you do!), here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

Death by Chocolate Brownie

Calling all chocolate lovers! This recipe is for YOU! I am a huge chocolate fan, and so is my mom, so this past Mother’s Day I wanted to have something super chocolate-y just for us.

Death by Chocolate Brownie

I succeeded. This was a chocolate lover’s dream. Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate Brownie mix (includes chocolate chips in the mix) – topped with semi-sweet chocolate chips, crushed Oreos, more chocolate chips…and a drizzle of caramel. BOOM! Death by Chocolate Brownie.

Oreo Brownie

My mom was pretty happy. I even apologized to my siblings, for I knew it would make me the favorite child 🙂

Death by Chocolate Brownie

Ingredients

  • 1 box brownie mix 8x8 or 9x9 size *plus ingredients called for on box
  • 1 cup chocolate chips divided
  • 2 cups Oreo cookies roughly chopped
  • Caramel ice cream topping optional

Instructions

  1. Prepare brownies according to package directions.
  2. Remove brownies from oven and let cool for 5-10 mins.
  3. While still warm, top with ½ cup chocolate chips.
  4. Sprinkle crushed Oreos on top and lightly press down.
  5. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup chocolate chips over Oreos.
  6. Drizzle with caramel topping (or melted white chocolate), if desired.

The heat from the brownies slightly melts the chocolate, which acts as the “glue” to hold the cookies in place. Allow brownies to cool completely before cutting. Enjoy!  We sure did!

*Quick tip – I used the the mini Oreo cookies that come in a bag, so I just opened the bag to let out the air, resealed, and used a rolling pin to break up the cookies.

The great thing about this recipe is that the options are endless! I have so many varieties floating through my head now…like replacing the Oreos with Nutter Butter cookies; or replacing the chocolate chips with peanut butter chips; and I’m sure you all can think of lots more – be sure to let me know!

About KimM – I’m a chocolate loving mother of three. My blog, Makin’ it Mo’Betta is dedicated to my adventures in the kitchen as I deal with food allergies, diabetes, tween sass, with some fun giveaways and reviews thrown in the mix!  Join me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest too!

10 Graduation Party Menus Plus Desserts and Snacks!

It’s that time of year when our graduates take the stage with caps and gowns and march off to get their diplomas and take on the world! Graduating is a great milestone and it’s something that should be celebrated.

But planning a graduation party menu can feel a bit overwhelming. Feeding a crowd can be a lot of work, and picking a menu that pleases everyone isn’t always easy. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!


Whether you are looking for a casual feast in the backyard, a pizza party, or a special sit down family dinner after your Grad gets home, these ten menu ideas will inspire you with some fun ideas and make planning your meal easy and fun. There’s plenty of different kinds of meals to fit all kinds of personalities and preferences, and I must say that they all have me drooling.

Don’t forget to read to the bottom for all the dessert and cookie ideas! Instead of adding one idea to each menu, you can pick your guest of honor’s favorite…or make it a dessert bar and serve a few!

Easy and Casual BBQ Feast

Super easy BBQ Peach Pulled Pork in the slow cooker, or any other easy slow cooker BBQ sandwich for that matter!

The pork can be made ahead of time and frozen, then heated in the crockpot.  The baked beans cook in the crockpot and are easy to put together.  The only thing that will have to be done the day of the party is tossing the dressing on the Asian Broccoli Salad.

Pair this with favorite sides like these:

potatosaladdone_thumb

bakedbeansdone_thumb

asian broccoli salad done

Asian Broccoli Salad

Add desserts and probably potato chips and perhaps some cut fruit!

Grill Out

Get out the grill and make it a backyard party!  Serve any of these and your crowd will be raving.

And when you pair these smoky meats with some classic sides, you have the makings of a winning combination!

Plus, you can get more backyard barbecue side dish ideas in this post here!

Nice Family Dinner

If you are thinking a nice sit-down dinner at home after the ceremony is the way to go, these recipes are mouthwatering and so easy!

italian seasoned salt pork tenderloin done

To make this meal easy and special, pair the tenderloin or chicken with:

Enchilada Buffet

Make a buffet of a couple big pans of different kinds of Enchiladas and let everyone serve themselves!

Some of our family favorites include:

white enchiladas

enchiladas with chili-tomato sauce

Serve these with fresh things like:

Need more side dish inspiration? Check out this post about what to serve with Enchiladas!

Build-Your-Own Fajitas or Tacos

Cook up meat in your crock pot or instant pot. Set out the meat, grilled veggies and a plethora of favorite toppings and let everyone build their own fajita or taco!

You could also grill up some chicken breasts in advance or buy a few rotisserie chickens and have them all prepped and ready to go for the big day to make one of these tasty options.

Serve them up with:

Teens Party Menu

Convert this snackadium into a teen’s dream meal! Both of these strombolis were part of a meal I made for super bowl, but with a few little tweaks it’ll be a great “main course” for your graduate and his or her friends.

Keep it simple and add a variety of chips and dips, chilled drinks and cookies and candy.  Anything they can grab, munch and head back out to dance or talk with friends.

Sandwich and Salads Buffet

Make up some easy sandwich trays that your crowd can pick and choose from!

  • Get a bag King’s Hawaiian rolls or other small buns to make a plate of small ham sandwiches and a bag of croissant rolls for Chicken Salad Sandwiches. You can get Virginia Brand ham in the deli section and have it shaved.
  • We love this easy Peach Chutney Chicken salad for sandwiches. So delicious and moist!

Serve these with a plate of assorted cheese slices, mayonnaise and mustard and almost homemade pickle slices.

 

Round out your menu with an easy pasta salad, a veggie tray with dip and some chips.

pastasaladdoneclose.jpg

Pizza Party

Whip up a bunch of homemade pizza and make a party out of it! You can make this easy dough in advance, and even make super easy awesome pizza sauce. Or buy your favorite premade crust and sauce and top the pizzas in any way you like. Here’s a few of our favorite pizza combos.

Serve this with a veggie tray with ranch dip, and a fresh fruit tray and fruit dip and some favorite chilled drinks.  I love root beer floats as a dessert option with pizza!

Spaghetti Feast

Cook up a bunch of pasta and serve it with one of these easy and delicious homemade sauces and meatballs! These meatballs are freezer friendly so you can make up a big batch in advance and they are absolutely delicious!

Round out the menu with garlic toast and an easy salad! Here are a couple more side dish ideas, too.

Brats or Dogs Your Way

Cook up a bunch of dogs and brats on the grill or stove top and let your people go to town topping them however they like.

You can serve this with:

Add a bowl of chilled melon balls or just an easy plate of watermelon slices and cantaloupe chunks.

Snacks

Want to have a few snack foods on hand for easy munching? Here are a couple of our favorite snack mixes and other snack ideas that are really easy to make!

Dessert Ideas

Clearly no celebration is complete without dessert! Or better yet – desserts! Make one or more of these and your graduate will feel like the party is complete.

derby-pie

peanut butter fluff pie done

lemon cheesecake dessert slice

tuxedo bars done 2

blue velvet cupcakes 2

School color cupcakesBlue Velvet Cupcakes, Red Velvet, Green Velvet, Orange Velvet, Purple Velvet

Here’s a handy tip on how to cut cake to feed a crowd!

Cookies

Narrowing down your favorite recipes to include in your menu is sure to be easier than choosing a college major these days. Especially since any of them will leave you at the top of the class when it comes to a graduation party!

Pin this post!

 

Candy Cane Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are one of my favorite Christmas treats.  This year, I had the idea to roll them in finely crushed candy canes, along with the powdered sugar.

The result is a deeply chocolate cookie with just the perfect hint of peppermint.  Small flecks of red candy cane make them pretty on the cookie plate.

I baked these up using Pampered Chef products for their 2012 Cookie Swap.  I love Pampered Chef.  The products are affordable and made for real people cooking at home.

I have quite a few Pampered Chef products already, but I was happy to try some new ones out.  The adjustable measuring spoons are fantastic.  I didn’t know if I would like them or not, but they’ve already become a favorite.  The cookie scoops are fantastic too.

And one thing really surprised me – the cookie sheet.  I’ve always baked my cookies on a baking stone.  That works great, but this time I used the cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper.  The cookies turned out perfectly.  No sticking.  No burning.  Just sweet perfection.  I’ll definitely be doing that again.

Below, you can see the assembly process for these cookies.  I didn’t roll the dough into balls, but just scooped it into the candy cane powdered sugar and rolled it around.  It made the process much quicker and easier than rolling all those balls.

Here’s what you’ll need to make Candy Cane Chocolate Crinkle Cookies.   [Read more…]