Vanilla Cake with Lemon Curd Filling

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Every time I bake a cake I learn something new. Baking – good baking – isn’t necessarily a complex thing, but it does take a good amount of energy and concentration. White cakes in particular have been fairly intimidating to me. I think they are easier to screw up and turn into a dry mess when compared to a nice Devil’s Food cake that’s loaded with a lot of moisture through milk, coffee and oil.

This time around, I learned:

Now let’s look at some pretty cake pictures!

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Lemon Dream Cake

You ever do something and immediately know that you’ve started a tradition?

Last year when I made this cake during me and my husband’s annual anniversary vacation, I immediately knew I’d stumbled on something that I would make year after year to mark the special occasion.

Lemon Dream Cake via 2 Cats & A CoffeeI love cakes, but generally don’t have a good reason to make them, and I hate to make something that I know the two of us can’t finish. But this is a dessert meant to be shared with friends and family, all the people you love!

And while I didn’t share the cake with him because it’s not kitty-friendly food, I was helped out by my lovely boy Winston.

Lemon Dream Cake via 2 Cats and a Coffee

More photos and recipe below.

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Puffy, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve been craving chocolate chip cookies the past few days, so I decided that even though it’s been too hot to really use the oven that I would risk heating up the house to cook up some of these treats. It also gave me an opportunity to test out something I had read about on a few blogs but never gotten to try on my own – using cornstarch to make puffy, chewy cookies!

You are going to love this trick, because it’s super simple and the results are amazeballs.

Puffy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies via 2 Cats and a Coffee

I used the recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, go check it out here.

I want to stress how important it is to chill the dough. Just CHILL guys, come on! And if you’re looking to get near-perfectly round cookies that bake evenly, take the extra moment to measure out actual tablespoons of dough and then shape them into smooth balls by hand. It doesn’t add much prep time but it results in really lovely, uniform cookies that bake evenly – even in the old, unpredictable oven I use.

Puffy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies via 2 Cats and a Coffee

I would also suggest using parchment paper or a silpat if you’ve got one. I bake with a stone sheet, and I didn’t have much issue with sticking, but a few of the cookies were just a tad resistant to come off so I suspect it would be more difficult on a regular metal sheet.

Puffy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies via 2 Cats and a Coffee

Do you have a favorite baking trick? Let me know!

Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt Popsicles

In the past year I’ve really become a fan of Greek yogurt. It’s a great substitute for several different ingredients, giving a nice creamy texture and taste while still being relatively healthy. Plan Greek yogurt in particular is very versatile: I’ve used it in place of heavy cream for Alfredo and also in the place of butter for baked goods like pound cake. I found this recipe on Heart Mind and Seoul and started making it as a quick dessert for myself at school, but once the temperature heated up when I was home I realized they would make really good, creamy popsicles.

Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt Popsicles | 2 Cats & A Coffee

I’ve modified the recipe a bit to suit my tastes (basically… more peanut butter! As well as the addition of brown sugar) and I encourage you to play around with it as well to suit what you like best. The original describes it as being similar to peanut butter cookie dough, I’m not sure I agree with that assessment, to me it’s more akin to a peanut butter pie filling.

If you haven’t ever eaten Greek yogurt be aware that the plain variety can be very tangy, especially if you’re used to regular flavored and sweetened yogurt. Feel free to start with vanilla flavored Greek yogurt if you need to ease yourself in, but I do think it’s best with plain to let the peanut butter and brown sugar flavors come through.

Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt Popsicles | 2 Cats & A Coffee

I use small paper dixie cups to make these, and the portion size is just right. Greek yogurt has a lot of protein and is very filling, so I find a small pop is just enough for a light dessert – or even breakfast!

Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt Popsicles

You’ll Need:
1 cup 2% plain greek yogurt
3-4 heaping tablespoons of peanut butter
2 heaping tablespoons of maple syrup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Small paper cups
Wooden popsicle sticksIt mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Spoon into small paper cups until about 3/4 full. Insert popsicle stick in center, and place in freezer for about 2 hours or until frozen. To eat, make a small cut in the lip of the paper cup and gently tear away.

*this recipe will yield a small batch of popsicles (between 4-6); if you’re feeding a crowd or really like them, go ahead and double it.

Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt Popsicles | 2 Cats & A Coffee

Dirt Cake

If I told you that one of my favorite desserts growing up was Dirt Cake, you might think that I was the type of kid who… well… ate dirt. But I promise you, Dirt Cake is a dessert that kids and adults alike enjoy!

Layers of cool, creamy pudding, cream cheese, and cool whip with crunchy, chocolaty cookies make up this simple yet satisfying dessert.

As an aside… these might just be some of my favorite photos so far. We had picked up sparklers for the 4th, and I realized that this was the perfect time to use them as props. A big thank you to my wonderful husband for being the pyrotechnic manager :)

More photos + recipe below!

Dirt Cake recipe from 2 Cats & A Coffee

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Strawberry Shortcake with Maine Strawberries

This past weekend my husband was away on a business trip. Rather than sit at home and pine away for him, I decided to take myself and the kitties on a little vacation. I didn’t go far – just a couple hours up the coast to my hometown – but it’s really amazing what a difference it makes. Around here there’s lots of farm stands with fresh produce, so this week’s recipe features local Maine strawberries and a decades old Betty Crocker biscuit recipe to form a delicious strawberry shortcake.

Strawberry Shortcake with Maine Strawberries | via 2 Cats & A Coffee

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Homemade Devil’s Food Cake with Buttercream Frosting and Chocolate Sauce

Hi internet! You may recognize this post from Just A Little Blush. I’ve run JALB for a little over a year, but recently realized that it was time to make an offshoot for just my cooking and recipes. I’ve always wanted to get more into food photography, and photographing and sharing my own recipes just makes sense. With that in mind I’m moving my recipe entries from JALB to this blog. I’ll continue posting in both, but 2 Cats & A Coffee will be for cooking, and JALB will continue to focus on make-up/fashion etc.

Last month it was my wonderful husband’s birthday! In the spirit of busy schedules he asked to have his cake early instead of on his actual birthday so that he could “take his time and enjoy it without being rushed”.

Riiiiiiight. I think maybe he just wanted cake early ;) But I’m happy to oblige him with this homemade devil’s food cake with buttercream frosting and chocolate sauce!

Devil's Food Cake with Buttercream Frosting and Chocolate Sauce | via 2 Cats & A Coffee

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