Pumpkin Coffee Cake Birthday Cake

So, you say it’s your birthday? It’s my birthday too! It’s really impossible to say that without thinking of Anthony Michael Hall trying to figure out how to ask Molly Ringwald for her panties, right? Since I’m thinking of it, I might watch Sixteen Candles tonight. I can, because it’s my birthday and I can do whatever I want.

And if I want a coffee cake- loaded with crumbs and filled with sweet sugary buttercream- I can have it because it’s my birthday and I bake the cakes around here.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake (Ellie's Bites)

In the spirit of fall (my favorite season because it’s the season my birthday falls in, NOT because it’s trendy!!) I made this a pumpkin coffee cake. By substituting half of the butter with pumpkin, I made it healthy because pumpkin is a vegetable and it’s filled with fiber. And coffee cake is breakfast, so here is a vegetable that you can eat for breakfast. See? Healthy. But why do I care? It’s my birthday so the calories don’t count anyway!

Pumpkin Coffe Cake (Ellie's Bites)

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

Crumb Topping

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 stick butter (10 tablespoons) melted
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients except the butter
  2. Drizzle the butter over the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to combine until large crumbs form. Set aside.


  • 3/4 stick butter (6 tablespoons)
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour (I love this post from Joy The Baker to make my own)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs plus 2 yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 325F and prepare two 8in round cake pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. Using a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth, beat in the pumpkin puree.
  4. Add eggs, and yolks, one at a time, mix together, then add the vanilla.
  5. Slowly add 1/3 of the flour mixture. Follow with half of the buttermilk, 1/3 flour mixture, the other 1/2 of the buttermilk, and the last 1/3 of the flour. Mix until everything is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl when needed.
  6. Divide the batter between the two pans, and sprinkle the crumb topping onto one of the layers, pressing the crumbs down into the batter.
  7. Bake for about 40-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes then carefully turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. (I put a plate on top of the pan, flipped it upside down so the cake fell onto the pan, then put another plate on top to flip it crumb side up, then carefully slid the cake onto the rack.)


  • 1 stick of butter (8 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (I use Spectrum)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • Heavy whipping cream (enough to reach desired consistency)
  1. Using paddle attachment, beat together the butter and shortening until smooth.
  2. Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. (Add the vanilla after the first 2 cups of sugar)
  3. Drizzle in the cream until the frosting is as thick or thin as you want it.
  4. Mix in the salt.
  5. Spread on top of the layer of cake without the crumbs. Top with the layer with the crumbs.

Pumpkin coffee cake 2 (Ellie's Bites)

Enjoy with your coffee!

Pumpkin Coffee Cake Slice (Ellie's Bites)


Pear And Ginger Cake

It’s been a little while since I have shared  recipe. Or shared anything for that matter.

This cake, though, needed to be shared. Like, immediately.  Just in case you wanted to make it for the weekend. Because if you want it for the weekend, you really need to make it now since this particular cake tastes so much better the next day. And if you want to make it now, you might want to check that you have all of the ingredients. Because, even if you have all of the ingredients, you may find that the orange juice is a little lower in the carton than you expected it to be. And, upon questioning (interrogation), your husband may admit to having drank directly from the carton. Then you’ll need to factor in the twenty minutes it will take for your husband to run to the store for more OJ.


Pear and Ginger Cake 2 (Ellie's Bites)


I have made the Jewish Apple Cake from Smitten Kitchen every Rosh Hashana for the past three years and every year it gets rave reviews. Last week, at my inlaws, I was sneaking a second (or third) slice when it occurred to me that I didn’t have to wait until next year to make this cake again. (Especially since I am hosting the Break Fast tomorrow after Yom Kippur.)

Pear Ginger Cake 1 (Ellie's Bites)

The cake itself is absolutely delicious. The outside gets a bit crispy and sweetly crusty so that you need a serrated knife to cut it properly without mushing the insides. And the inside. Well, lets just say it melts in the mouth. Enough said.

Pear and Ginger Cake (Ellie's Bites)

It is an AMAZING apple cake recipe, but I wanted to play around with other flavors to see if other combinations could compliment the cake as nicely as the apples in cinnamon. And this incredible (if I do say so myself) pear and ginger cake was born.

Recipe adapted from The Smitten Kitchen

Fruit Filling

  • 3 Pears (the riper and jucier the better) I used Bartlet.
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger

Peel and dice the pears into 1/2 inch cubes. Don’t stress if some skin remains. Mix the pears, sugar, and spices in a small bowl and put aside while you mix the rest of the batter.


  • 2 3/4 cup flour (sifted)
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (no pulp)
  • 4 eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare two loaf pans with non stick spray and parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the oil and sugar. Add the vanilla and orange juice and mix.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix until just wet (it will be very thick).
  5. Add eggs, and mix well.
  6. Scoop one cup of batter into the bottom of each loaf pan. Use a rubber spatula to spread the batter so it covers the bottom of the pan. Scoop about 3/4 cup of the pear mixture and sprinkle it across the batter in the bottom of each pan. Divide the remaining batter between the two pans and carefully spread it over the pears (the pears probably wont be completely covered).
  7. Bake for about an hour. Check the cakes after 45 minutes. If a toothpick inserted near the center is still wet with batter, but the top is starting to darken, cover the pans loosely with a sheet of foil. If after 45 minutes, the toothpick comes out clean, simply remove pans from oven and allow to cool. If you wind up taking the cakes out of the oven early, don’t forget to turn off the oven. (Shouldn’t need to be said, but sometimes I speak from experience.)


  • 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp milk

Mix together the powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Drizzle over cooled cakes.

This cake definitely tasted better the next day. I used powdered ginger, as opposed to fresh, and the taste was a bit subtle, but there was a kick. If you like it spicier, by all means, increase the amount of powdered ginger or use fresh ginger.


Cookie Dough Stuffed Pound Cake

Does anyone else celebrate half birthdays? Because when Ellie was going around telling everyone it was her half birthday the other day, the majority of the people she told looked at me like I was a little bit crazy.

Is it just us moms that will look for any excuse to bake something?

I’ve been wanting to try something with browned butter and one of the most logical (to me) choices seems to be chocolate chip cookies. After all, they are butter based anyway and it just makes sense that the slightly nutty flavor of browned butter would compliment the brown sugary sweetness of a chocolate chip cookie. So, while the kids were eating breakfast, I melted a stick of butter in a small sauce pan, whisking it constantly until it darkened in color and started smelling really good. Then I poured it into a ramekin and stuck it back into the fridge and went about my morning.

Later that day, I took the browned butter back out of the fridge with every intention of making cookies, but then I had to go and complicate things.

Cookie Dough Stuffed Pound Cake (Ellie's Bites)

I made the cookie dough as I would usually, but I substituted Ener G Egg Replacer Powder for the egg, which is what I do when I intend to eat the dough raw. Then I rolled the dough into teeny tiny teaspoon sized balls, ate a whole bunch of them, and froze the rest. While they were freezing, I made a chocolate pound cake. No big deal. I used this recipe from Baker’s Royale. When the cake was completely cool, and the cookie dough was frozen, I sliced the chocolate cake into slices and used a small square cookie cutter to cut squares from each slice. Then I used a really small square to cut really small squares from the center of the small squares and I stuffed a ball of cookie dough into each really small square. Then I froze the whole mess over night.

Cookie Dough Pound Cake Collage

The next morning, I made ANOTHER pound cake- this time using the vanilla cake version, also from Bakers Royale. I chose these recipes because they are basically the same, therefore I knew the consistencies would work together. (Also, I halved both recipes since I only needed one cakes worth.)

After mixing the dough, I poured half into my prepared pan, then tightly packed the cookie dough stuffed squares in a row down the center (not pictured are the extra balls of dough that I placed randomly along the sides). Then I poured the rest of the batter on top and baked it all.

Cookie Dough Pound Cake Collage2

Then I told my daughter that I baked her a half birthday cake.

After a small argument about whether or not presents are appropriate for a half birthday (they are not), we sliced up that cake.

Cookie Dough Pound Cake (Ellie's Bites)

And we ate it.

Cookie Dough Pound Cake Crumbs (Ellie's Bites)

It was a lot of work, but it was worth it. Especially the next day when the flavors had a chance to sit and blend a little. I wouldn’t skip the step of browning the butter, the cake is so rich that it helps to prevent the flavor of the cookie dough from becoming lost in the rest of the cake. Also, don’t skip the freezing steps. That prevents the cookie dough from baking completely and keeps the chocolate cake from drying out.

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (Adapted from The New Basics Cookbook)

  • 1 stick of butter , melted, browned, and rechilled, then softened
  • 1/2 stick of butter softened
  • 6 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ener G Egg egg replacer powder dissolved in 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2-3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

(The original recipe calls for baking soda which I used when I made this, but I would have left it out if I had known from the beginning that I wasn’t going to make cookies from the dough.)

  1. Cream together the two butters and the two sugars.
  2. Add Ener G Egg and vanilla, mix until smooth.
  3. Add salt and flour. Mix until incorporated.
  4. Mix in chocolate chips.

This evolved into a half-birthday cake when I was going to cut the chocolate cake into hearts but couldn’t get a clean cut and still have room for the cookie dough. It was supposed to be a Valentines cake. Shhhhh. Please don’t tell Ellie.

Speaking of Ellie. She wants to blog. I guess she wants to be like her mommy (or see what the big deal is?) So, occasionally, I am going to let her pick out a recipe from one of her cook books. We’ll make it together. Then she will photograph (with my help) and write about it (all on her own). We may try our first post this weekend. Please be nice. She’s six… and a half.

I’ll be linking this post to Simply Sweets by Honeybee Simply Sweet Saturdays.

 Simply Sweets by Honeybee

A “Cookie Monster” Birthday

So much preparation for a little birthday party! The past week has been a blur of icing, frosting, flour, butter, sugar, and vanilla.

At the time that I picked the theme for his party, Ben was into two things. Cookies and Cookie Monster. So I decided to go with “Cookies and Monsters”.

My sister in law, Wendi, made the invitations. At the time, these were the colors I was going with, but as the party evolved, the colors changed. As it turned out, Wendi made a LOT more than just the invitations.

We had the party at My Little Adventures. It is a local kid’s gym that also offers many classes for kids up to age six. We were so happy with the party itself. They really went above and beyond to make the birthday boy, his sister, and every single guest feel special.

Isn’t the shirt cute? Wendi made that, too. I had actually ordered a shirt from an Etsy store back in January, and at the last minute (meaning last Tuesday) I got a email saying she couldn’t complete the order. Oh well, Wendi saved the day and I LOVED it! Here’s the back:

Now, I’ll bet you’d like to see the treats?

Here’s a close up of the cake:

And here’s an even better shot:

The inside was polka dot, but it was cut up and handed out before I could get a good picture.

Can you see the polka dots? I got the idea from this post that I found via Pinterest. I baked up some blue, green, orange, and yellow cake pops in Wendi’s Baby Cake Cake Pop machine (there’s Wendi, saving the day again!) and baked them into   the cake. I used Sweetapolita’s chocolate cake recipe and got so many compliments on it. It’s definitely my new go to chocolate cake recipe! I topped it off with some cake pop eye balls like this cake, also found via Pinterest.

To make things a little less messy for the two-year-olds, I made some monster cupcakes.

So, I’m not kidding. I said before I have been having computer issues, and my lap top just decided to freeze me out of my photos. So I will have to let the computer rest for a little bit and hope I can get in there later to share the cookies and party favors.