Birthday desserts!

In our house, birthdays are a BIG DEAL! I think that mostly comes from my birthday being so very close to Christmas (I am a Christmas Eve baby) and there never really being an opportunity for me to have birthday parties as a child.

I have never wanted my children to ever think we didn’t feel their birthday was important so I have always gone all out for my kids’ birthday. This year my twins (Yes, TWINS!) turned 10. What better reason to make a gigantic deal about a birthday than it being the year they turn double digits, baby?

So how did I handle it? Well, with 3 days of birthday parties of course! Now I won’t go into all the details and bore you with my excessive birthday celebration for my kids, but I do want to share the recipe from my favorite chef (The PioneerWoman – found on her Food Network show).

This recipe is for her Ice Cream layer cake.


  • 1 pound cake
  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
  • 4 large peanut butter cup candies, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup chocolate ice cream, slightly softened
  • 1/2 cup chocolate candies, such as M and Ms, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup chocolate chip ice cream, slightly softened
  • Chocolate shell ice cream sauce (the type that hardens), such as Smucker’s Magic Shell, for covering the top


Slice the pound cake horizontally into 3 pieces. Place the first slice in a loaf tin lined with plastic wrap. Cover the cake with the vanilla ice cream, followed by three-quarters of the chopped peanut butter cups. Add a second layer of cake and cover with the chocolate ice cream, followed by three-quarters of the chocolate candies. Place the last layer of cake on top, followed by the chocolate chip ice cream. Cover with the chocolate shell sauce, then the remaining peanut butter cups and chocolate candies. Let the sauce set for a few seconds, then fold over the plastic wrap and place in the freezer until frozen, about 4 hours.

When ready to serve, pull back the plastic wrap, gently lift the cake out and peel off the wrapping completely. Slice to serve.

You can watch a video on how to make the cake here.

The cake was a huge success and I had some very happy kids! This is a definite recommend.

Thanksgiving Desserts

In our family, we love dessert. To be honest, we probably love dessert a little too much, but we won’t dwell on that right now. As we get closer to the holidays, my husband’s family divides up responsibilities for the meal we will share together. There are 17 of us, so that’s a lot of mouths to feed and too much for one person to prepare.

One of my favorite dishes that is always prepared by my sister-in law is this Toffee Pecan bundt cake with caramel drizzle.

It is seriously to die for! I could probably eat the entire thing, but I love my family so I share with them.

She shared the recipe with me that she originally found on a blog called A Family Feast. That blog has since become one of my favorites for pulling recipes to try.

I will admit, I haven’t tried to make the toffee pecan bundt cake on my own because let’s face it, I’m not even close to as good a baker as my sister-in-law. Instead, I wait patiently for Thanksgiving each year and hope she chooses that as the dessert to bring!

Here’s the recipe if you want to give it a try. You can also check out the blog for the recipe and some more pictures of this delicious masterpiece!


For the Cake

  • Non-stick cooking spray with flour
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 bag (8-ounces) toffee pieces
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped

For the Caramel Drizzle

  • 14 ounces (1 can) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 12-cup bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray with flour and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until light and creamy. Add both sugars and beat again until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until blended. Alternate adding in flour mixture and milk, mixing until just combined, being careful not to over mix.
  4. Stir in toffee chips and pecans by hand, blending well. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 75-80 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the cake is cool, prepare the Caramel Drizzle as follows:

  1. Combine the sweetened condensed milk and brown sugar in a medium, heavy–bottomed saucepan. Over medium heat, bring to a boil, whisking very frequently.
  2. Reduce the heat under the pan and simmer gently for about 8 minutes, whisking constantly.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Allow the mixture to sit in the pan for about 5 minutes – then drizzle over the cake. (You will want the drizzle to still be fairly hot when you drizzle it over the cake – it does harden a little after it cools.)