Tag Archives: Baked Goods

Mom’s Famous Chocolate Cake Recipe

This cake is famous.  No really, it is.

Okay, well maybe not world famous, but within our family and friend circle it is.  This is my Mom’s hand-me-down recipe and she’s been making it for years.  Just the smell of the cake baking reminds me of being in my Mom’s kitchen, or calling her over 10 times for the recipe because I kept losing it (don’t worry, I’ve got that covered now – it’s on my blog – I can’t lose it!).  This cake shows up at birthdays, parties, special occasions or best of all, just because.  CH and my brother have been known to ‘fight’ over this cake.  In fact, one time my brother tried to hide the cake on CH, so that he wouldn’t have to share! [CH: He failed, then we decided to hide it from everyone else at the party and ate it all by ourselves. Flawless victory.] Apparently, it’s that good!

This cake is so versatile too!  It can be topped with a chocolate ganache, which makes it truly decadent.  I also dust it with icing sugar (as shown) and serve it with ice cream.  It also goes really well with strawberries and whipped cream.  All I know is that leftovers are known to disappear for breakfast (actually, as I type this post….I just heard CH open the cake stand….I’m serious)!

I know what you are thinking, it’s a pretty simple and basic cake recipe and it uses a cake box mix (*gasp*).  But, the say the proof is in the puddin, so try this cake soon.


Mom’s Chocolate Cake


  • 1 box Devil’s Food chocolate cake mix (I use good old Betty Crocker)
  • 1 pack chocolate instant Jello pudding (dry packet)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup chocolate chips



Grease a bunt pan with butter.  Set aside.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using your KA stand-mixer, fitted with your flat beater, add in eggs, sour cream and oil.  Mix well.

Add in the cake mix and the pudding.  Mix well again.  Add in the 1/2 cup of water and give it one more good mix – until no clumps remain and the batter is smooth.

Finally, toss in the chocolate chips and stir to combine.

Pour cake batter into bunt pan and spread out evenly.  Give the bunt pan a few taps on the counter to release any large air-bubbles.

Baked at 350 degrees for 50 – 60 minutes.  Test doneness by inserting a long skewer (it’ll come out clean when done!)

Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.  Flip over onto a rack and let cool entirely.

*This cake can be prepared the day ahead and it still tastes as if you just baked it.  I leave mine overnight in my glass cake stand, but you can also place it on a plate and cover it with a plastic bowl.   I will glaze it with the ganache about 30 minutes before serving.



  • 2 cup of chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup of half and half cream
  • 2 tbsp of butter or margarine


Place chocolate chips, half and half and butter in a small sauce pan.

Over very low heat, melt until smooth consistency (I usually melt the mixture until there are still a few un-melted chocolate chips left.  I then remove it from the heat and stir until all chips are completely smooth).

Pour the hot ganache mixture over the cake and use a spatula to spread evenly.

Let side for 20 – 30 minutes before serving (it’ll harden slightly, which is what you want!

Recipe from Momma JBean, Adapted from Best of Bridge



Filed under Desserts

The Ultimate Banana Bread

So, remember when I said in my first post that I don’t really bake?   And then I said that when I do bake, I bake the same recipes, over and over?  Well, this is one of those recipes.  I’ve been making CH this banana bread probably since we started dating, which is going on 9 years!  CH loves banana bread and I have apparently discovered the “best ever” recipe.  But make no mistake, banana bread HAS to have chocolate chips or CH won’t be happy (but if you don’t like chocolate chips in your recipe, these can be omitted).

CH and I lived apart for a year while he started law school across the country. The days apart were tough on both of us and CH worked hard at school.  While he had a stocked deep-freezer of home-made meals due to a visit from me, he missed fresh baked goods and was bad at eating breakfast.  Thus, I would bake him this banana bread and ship it to him, overnight, via CanadaPost.  Yes, overnight shipping across Canada was expensive….I think for the amount of times I shipped him things via CanadaPost, I could have gone on a holiday to Mexico.  But knowing he was well fed and loved made it worth it, I guess!!

And just to prove how good this is, one last time, CH came home on the day I baked this for my blog post and instantly knew that I had made “his” banana bread by the smell in our small apartment.  However, he had just finished a two hour all-you-can-eat sushi lunch with his friends.  Thus, his sushi induced food coma was further worsened by having “just one piece” (read: 1/3 of the loaf) of banana bread, because it smelled too good!  Gotta love a dedicated taste-tester!


Banana Bread

Yield:  One large loaf
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1hr and 10 minutes


  • 10 tablespoons butter (+ 1 for greasing your pan)
  • 3 cups of mashed bananas (about 3 medium bananas)*
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream (fat free or whatever you have)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1.5 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts (optional)

* Use brown bananas as they add additional sweetness to your bread.  Browner the better!


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside.

In a large bowl and using a hand-held blender (or food processor/blender), puree the bananas, sour cream, eggs and vanilla until smooth.  Set aside.

Using a stand-mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Add the butter to the flour mixture and whisk until well blended and fluffy (there should be no large clumps and should appear light and airy).

Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture, slowly, until well incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts (if using), and pour into prepared pan.

Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.

Adapted from Martha Stewart


Filed under Bread, Breakfast, Desserts

What’s Baking: Coconut Drop Cookies

My first blog post is an interesting one and what sums it up best is my husband’s, CH’s, comment:  “Why is your first blog post about baking….you don’t bake, you cook”. Let me explain!  I am a tried and true cook and don’t get me wrong, I do bake, but it seems that I bake the same recipes, over and over.  I find baking a bit tedious and precise and this is a problem because I am definitely an “add another clove of garlic” or “a bit more wine won’t hurt” kind of cook, so sometimes baking and I don’t always turn out well (ok…well, more often than not!).

BUT…that’s about to change.  One of the reasons my blog was created was because I was truly inspired by a group of wonderful and talented cooks/bakers over at WC.  They are truly an inspirational bunch and their creations, especially in the baking category, are incredible.  So, when I was finally set to launch my blog, I decided to join their “What’s Baking” group to improve my baking skills, once and for all.  I figured, if I was obligated to bake a new recipe once a month, I would have to get better at baking (right?)!

Just so it’s clear, “What’s Baking” is a monthly baking club of bloggers.  Each month, the host blogger chooses a theme for the month and each of us must prepare a baking-related recipe that fits within that theme.  The host blogger then summarizes what each of us made that month in a round-up post.  So, be sure to check out what the other bloggers made this month too (I will post the link when it’s up!)

This month, Dunne’ over at With a Cherry On Top, is the host blogger. The theme she chose for February is “Baked with Love”. I’ve had many ideas, gone back and forth, but because this is my FIRST ever post, I decided to make it truly special and bake one of my Mémère’s (see About JBean for who this is and why she is important) recipes – Coconut Drop Cookies.

As I’ve mentioned, my Mémère has passed away, but these cookies still remind me of her and are very special in our family.  My Mémère used to make these cookies by the ice-cream bucket but they never lasted long!  In our family, they were referred to as “Mémère’s Cookies”.  Just the smell of them reminds me of baking with her (but it can be concluded that I didn’t get her baking genes!).  My brother played junior hockey and lived away from home – which I know was difficult (and not just for him!).  My Mémère used to make him an ice-cream bucket of these cookies and send them to him, just so he could have a taste of home, and he was definitely the biggest fan of these cookies!  I made a batch of these cookies with one of my friends over the holidays to surprise my brother, as it has been years since we’ve had them. I planned to wrap them and put them under the tree for him but I was too excited and gave them to him within an hour of me bringing them home!  The look on my brother’s face as he opened them and realized they were “Mémère’s Cookies” was absolutely priceless and was truly the best Christmas gift.  Needless to say, it was a cookie filled holiday and that batch didn’t last long!

So, in memory of my Mémère and my official submission to “What’s Baking” this month, I present my Baked With Love entry:

Coconut Drop Cookies

Yield:  About 12 Cookies (depending on the size you choose!)


  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 1/4 cup milk (skim, 1% or 2%)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper – set aside.

Combine rolled oats, cocoa powder and shredded coconut in a large glass or metal bowl.  Set aside.

Place sugar, margarine, milk and vanilla in a large saucepan (although the liquid mixture doesn’t look like a lot, you need room for it to expand when it comes to a boil).  Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-low heat and once the mixture reaches a rolling boil, set timer for 2 minutes.  Do not stir or swirl the mixture while it boils, just leave it be!  Once the two minutes have elapsed, immediately remove the mixture from the heat and combine with the dry oats mixture in the glass (or metal) bowl.  Stir well with a wooden spoon to combine all ingredients.

While mixture is still warm, drop spoonfuls of the batter onto the parchment lined baking sheets (whatever size cookie you like – I usually do a very generous tablespoon).  Place baking sheets in a cool place and allow the cookies to set.  Once set, remove from the cookie sheet and enjoy!

Store the cookies in an airtight container, either in the fridge or the freezer (our family keeps them in the freezer and we eat them directly from there!  If you layer the cookies in the container, be sure to put some parchment paper between the layers so they don’t stick together).

Note – the cookies are sticky and will be hard to drop onto the cookie sheet.  The cookies are supposed to look a little messy, definitely not perfect circles, so don’t worry too much about it, and go ahead and use your fingers!  Also, if you don’t allow the mixture to boil for 2 minutes, they will be too soft and won’t set.  If you boil too long, they will become too hard and crumbly once set.  So definitely pay attention to the mixture while it boils – that way, after 2 minutes you should have perfectly moist and chewy cookies!  It is definitely about timing with these cookies and I remember my Mémère getting frustrated at times with the cookies being too soft or too hard – so unfortunately you may have to play with the timing a bit as stoves and your pots may affect the cooking time!

Source: Maillardville Cook’s, Recipe by Therese L’Heureux and Adapted by Bella Roy

* Dunne’ also asked for this to be a Valentine’s Day appropriate item.  If they last until dessert time on the day you make them, I think they make a delicious dessert with a dollop of whipped cream and some sliced strawberries on top. What matters the most is that they are made with love!


Filed under Desserts