Archives for category: Best Dessert

Whoopie Pies are a New England classic. Their origin is a controversy though as both Labadie’s Bakery in Lewiston, Maine and Berwick Cake Company in Roxbury, Massachusetts both started making them in the early 1920s claiming them as their own.

Whoopie Pies are two pieces of cake filled with marshmallow fluff frosting in the middle. The good news is that the cakes and filling can both be made ahead a stored at room temperature in airtight containers until you’re ready to assemble them. Assembled Whoopie Pies can be stored at room temperature 1 day.

I learned to make these while I lived in New England. The first I made was a Pumpkin Whoopie Pie at Halloween. Since, then I’ve graduated to my favorite flavor — Chocolate — which I’m sharing!

Chocolate Whoopie Pie

Cake Ingredients:

1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 large egg, room temperature

1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder such as Hershey’s

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup milk, room temperature

Filling Ingredients:

1 cup vegetable shortening such as Crisco

1 cup confectioners sugar

1 1/3 cups (1 jar) Marshmallow Fluff

1/4 tsp kosher salt dissolved in 1 TBSP water

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees positioning the rack in the middle of your oven. Line two large, rimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl with a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, or a large bowl using a hand-mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and vanilla on medium-high until smooth. Scrap down the sides of the bowl continually. Add the egg and beat until smooth.
  3. Add the cocoa powder on low speed until combined.
  4. Gradually, add the flour to the batter, alternating with the milk beating on low until you’ve used both. Scape down the sides and combined until smooth.
  5. Drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets using a 2″ pastry scoop. Leave a few inches between each since they will expand while baking. I add about 9 to 10 per sheet.
  6. Bake 11 to 12 minutes until they are set and firm to touch. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pans. Then, add them to a baking rack to continue cooling completely before adding the filling.
  7. While they are cakes are cooling, beat the shortening, confectioner’s sugar and Marshmallow fluff in a standing mixer or with a hand-mixer. Start on low and then increase to medium.
  8. Add the salted water to the mixture and then the vanilla. Mix until completely smooth.
  9. Spread the flat side of half the cakes with the filling mixture. I use a piping bag with a star tip to add the filling.
  10. Top each frosted cake with the remaining cakes, flat side toward the filling. Wrap each individually until you’re ready to serve.
  11. Sprinkle with powdered sugar (optional).

Enjoy! XOXO Jill

The Land Where Lemons Grow” (author Helena Attlee) is a fantastic story of the citrus fruit that is native to Italy. Attlee’s book is a wonderful journey through history from Sicily to Southern Italy and all places where the lemons grow. Once thought of as an exotic fruit, lemons are now used abundantly in our cooking. For me, I enjoy Italian cooking and using lemons in everything from entrees to desserts.

This Italian Lemon Pound Cake is made in a traditional Bundt pan (my is the Anniversary Pan from William Sonoma) even though it is a pound cake recipe. It is super moist in texture and rich with citrus flavor, but not enough to make your lips pucker. I think this is one of the best lemon cake recipes I’ve found.

Italian Lemon Pound Cake

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup sour cream such as Daisy or Knudsen

4 TBSP lemon juice

1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced

Zest from 2 lemons (about 2 TBSP) and some for garnish

1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F. Generously grease the Bundt pan with baking spray, butter or lard. Get all creases or the cake will stick.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, cream softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in sour cream, lemon juice, vanilla, ginger and 2 TBSP lemon zest.
  4. Mix half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Mix in the buttermilk and then add the remaining flour mixture. Mix until the flour disappears.
  5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan.
  6. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes. The cake is ready once a skewer stuck in the middle comes out clean. I check on the cake around 50 minutes to determine the amount of time left. This will depend on your oven.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool for about 25-30 minutes. Invert onto a cake platter and let cool longer. Once the cake is room temperature glaze or sprinkle it with powdered sugar.
  8. To glaze the cake, use 1 1/2 cups powered sugar mixed well with 3 TBSP lemon juice. The mixture should be smooth but not runny. If it is too stiff to drizzle add a small amount of whipping cream or milk and mix. I continue doing this until it is a consistency that will drizzle and stick to the cake (not be liquidy or runny).

Enjoy! XOXO Jill