Cakes

Red, White and Blue Angel Food Cake Platter

Red, White and Blue Angel Food Cake Platter  |  Lemon & Mocha

How fun is this Red, White and Blue Angel Food Cake Platter? As I’ve mentioned in past posts, Babu and I used to make a classic flag sheet cake every Fourth of July. Now my new tradition seems to be coming up with a tasty new alternative every year instead! I really enjoyed putting together last year’s Flag Fruit and Dessert Platter and I wanted to do something similar this year.

Red, White and Blue Angel Food Cake Platter  |  Lemon & Mocha

Just like mini appetizer food, dessert boards encourage informal snacking and eating, which is especially welcome during lazy summer barbecue parties. When it’s hot out and all the yummy fruits are in season during the summertime I find myself craving fruity desserts. Even better if they’re light and refreshing. This red, white and blue platter essentially turns an already simple dessert into a top your own angel food cake bar.

Red, White and Blue Angel Food Cake Platter  |  Lemon & Mocha

The white stripes consist of chunks of fluffy angel food cake. Buy it at the store, bake it from scratch or use a box mix; totally up to you! I went basic with the red stripes and just layered juicy strawberries. Strawberries, raspberries and pitted fresh cherries are all great choices that would pair well with the angel food cake.

Red, White and Blue Angel Food Cake Platter  |  Lemon & Mocha

For the blue section of the flag I have a quick sauce made with blueberries. It was my first time making this easy four-ingredient sauce from Barefoot Contessa and it will definitely not be my last. Striking the perfect balance of sweet and tart, the blueberry sauce tastes so good drizzled all over the angel food cake and fresh berries.

Red, White and Blue Angel Food Cake Platter  |  Lemon & Mocha

Finally, in a bowl nearby since it doesn’t really fit into the flag is some homemade whipped cream because you can’t have summer cake and berries without whipped cream! If you’re going for all simple this holiday then just break out some Cool Whip. I promise no one will complain. However, if you do take the extra few minutes to make the fresh whipped cream then I also promise you will have some extra rave reviews of your top your own angel food cake bar. Enjoy and have a great holiday!

Red, White and Blue Angel Food Cake Platter  |  Lemon & Mocha

Red, White and Blue Angel Food Cake Platter
 
Yield: 1 platter; 2 cups blueberry sauce
Ingredients
for the platter
  • 1 angel food cake, cut into cubes
  • 24 ounces strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 1 cup heavy cream, cold
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
for the blueberry sauce
  • 1½ pints blueberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Directions
for the platter
  1. Arrange the cake cubes on the platter in stripes, leaving room for the strawberries and a bowl filled with blueberry sauce in the upper left corner. Place the strawberries on the platter right before serving.
  2. In a cold metal bowl of a stand mixer or in a large cold metal mixing bowl with a hand mixer, use cold beaters to beat the heavy cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Keep refrigerated until you’re ready to serve it. You can make the whipped cream a day ahead, just store it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve then lightly beat with a whisk.
for the blueberry sauce
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the blueberries, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and ¼ cup water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes. The sauce should be thickened. Remove from the heat and blend in a blender or with an immersion blender. Alternatively you could strain in a mesh strainer to remove the blueberry chunks. If you prefer the chunks of blueberries in the sauce then you can just leave it as is. Cool to room temperature then store in the fridge until ready to serve.
Notes
I used a box mix and baked it in two square baking pans. I lined the baking pans with parchment paper then made the angel food cake according to the package instructions, baking at 325 degrees (my pans were nonstick) for 35 minutes, or until the tops were dark golden. When they came out of the oven I leaned the pans on their sides and when they were mostly cool I took them out of the pans and cut them into cubes.

Blueberry sauce recipe adapted from Ina Garten.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle

Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle  |  Lemon & Mocha

Another Wednesday, another recipe full of pumpkin-goodness! I have two fairly simple desserts recipes that are both big crowd-pleasers that I’ll be sharing with you in time for Thanksgiving. Spoiler: they both include pumpkin! I love pie at Thanksgiving, but sometimes I want something a little different.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle  |  Lemon & Mocha

I discovered this Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle two years ago and it became an instant favorite. I’m a sucker for a good trifle, especially one that involves angel food cake, because they’re so light, which is perfect for after a big holiday meal. The Summer Berry Trifle is a classic, but I wanted a go-to trifle during the fall and winter months as well.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle  |  Lemon & Mocha

This Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle recipe is super easy and has just three layers. The first is the angel food cake. You can buy store-bought angel food cake, make it from a box mix or make your own homemade version. I personally like to stick to the box mix version since you just mix it with water and bake – crazy easy! One of these days I’ll try a homemade angel food cake, but when I’m throwing it into a trifle and busy with other holiday prep the box mix is good enough for me.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle  |  Lemon & Mocha

The next layer is a pumpkin cheesecake filling. Yes, it’s as incredible as it sounds. It’s creamy, warmly spiced and packed with pumpkin flavor. Finally, we have a cinnamon whipped cream because whipped cream is amazing, but cinnamon whipped cream is on the next level. I used whipped topping, but I included instructions for homemade whipped cream as well so feel free to use whichever you prefer!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle  |  Lemon & Mocha

I used this 7.5” trifle bowl from Crate and Barrel, which as you can see is bursting at the top so you could definitely get away with a larger trifle bowl not looking too empty. Or just pile more cinnamon whipped cream on top! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle  |  Lemon & Mocha

Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle
 
Yield: 8-10 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 prepared angel food cake (I use a box mix), cut into chunks using a serrated knife
  • 4 cups whipped topping, see note
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, light or regular
  • 15 ounces pure pumpkin
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more for topping
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice then beat until combined. Fold in 1⅓ cups whipped topping.
  2. Combine the remaining 2⅔ whipped topping with the ground cinnamon.
  3. Layer ⅓ of the angel food cake chunks into the bottom of the trifle bowl. Top with ½ of the pumpkin mixture, smooth into an even layer. Top with ⅓ of the cinnamon whipped cream, smooth into an even layer. Repeat the layers two more times so that you end with the whipped cream on the top. Sprinkle with a dusting of pumpkin pie spice then refrigerate until ready to serve.
Notes
If you would prefer to use homemade whipped cream instead of whipped topping, you will need 4 cups of whipped cream. Beat 2 cups of cold heavy cream with ¼ cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon until stiff peaks form.
Box mix tip: I don’t have an angel food cake pan so when I make the box mix for this recipe I use a 9x13” pan. I put parchment paper on the bottom then bake it at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes. The top should be golden brown and not sticky. Then turn the pan upside down using 4 cans of the same height under each corner and let it stay like that until it cools. Once it’s mostly cooled, run a butter knife around the edges then the cake should fall right out.

Recipe slightly adapted from Mom on Timeout.

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna  |  Lemon & Mocha

Happy Monday before Halloween! I don’t love Halloween solely because of the candy, but all those Kit Kats and Reese’s are definitely a big factor! No matter what age you are, you’re bound to have leftover candy after Halloween. It may because your kids collected way more than they need so you snagged a stash for yourself. It may be because you bought several Costco size bags of candy, but no one in your neighborhood felt like coming to your house since it’s on a “hill” – speaking from experience.

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna  |  Lemon & Mocha

It may be because you went trick-or-treating at Disneyland’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, which Matt and I did two years ago and it was so much fun! Or maybe you just took advantage of all the after-holiday sales while you were hungry and felt at the time you really had to have all four bags of those fun size chocolate candy bars. Either way, now you have a bunch of candy and while it’s great to eat on its own you can only do so much of that before you never want to look at a candy bar again.

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna  |  Lemon & Mocha

Enter this Halloween Chocolate Lasagna. I hesitate to call it a Chocolate Lasagna since I think the name makes people not want to try it, but according to the internet and Pinterest that is what this layered chocolatey dessert is called. The bottom layer is a no-bake Oreo crust. Next up we have a sweetened cream cheese layer that’s been folded together with some whipped topping to make it light and fluffy. If you don’t want to use store bought whipped topping you could always fold in some homemade whipped cream so I put those directions in the recipe as well. The next two layers are creamy chocolate pudding and then whipped topping. Don’t forget the Halloween candy! You can use whichever chocolate candies you prefer. I chopped up Kit Kat, Reese’s, Milky Way, Snicker’s and 3 Musketeers and sneaked them in between the pudding layer.

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna  |  Lemon & Mocha

This dessert is addictive, especially with the candy added in as a fun surprise. It tastes incredibly light while you are eating it, but it’s also very rich at the same time. Everyone who had this ate it up and they even each brought a bowl-full home.

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna  |  Lemon & Mocha

The first time I ever heard of Chocolate Lasagna was last year when Matt’s mom made it for Christmas. The minute I saw all the whipped cream and chocolate I knew I was going to be in love. We kept the leftovers and by we I mean I may or may not have told Matt he couldn’t have any 😂. When I thought of turning it into a leftover Halloween candy dessert I asked Matt’s mom to send me the recipe so I could share it with all of you. And so I could get to eat it again since I had been dreaming about it since last Christmas. If you are looking for other leftover Halloween candy ideas, check out my Leftover Halloween Candy Cookies!

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna  |  Lemon & Mocha

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna
 
Yield: 20 - 24 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 14.3-ounce package of Oreo cookies, about 36 Oreos (not double stuff)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk, cold (use any fat percentage of milk except non-fat)
  • 12 ounces frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip), defrosted
  • 2 4-ounce packages chocolate instant pudding
  • 3¼ cups milk, cold (use at least 1% milk)
  • About 3 cups chopped leftover Halloween candy
  • Halloween sprinkles, for decorating
Directions
  1. Crush the Oreo cookies using a food processor or by placing them in a large freezer bag and crushing them with a meat mallet or rolling pin. They don’t need to be fine crumbs, but there shouldn’t be any huge chunks of cookie. Pour the cookie crumbs into a large mixing bowl and stir in the melted butter until combined. Pour the crumb mixture into a 9x13 baking pan and press the crumbs to form an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate while you work on the rest of the layers.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add in the sugar and the 2 tablespoons of milk then beat until combined. Fold in 1¼ cups of the whipped topping and spread in an even layer over the Oreo crust.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl (or the same one used for the Oreo crust), combine both chocolate instant pudding mixes with the 3¼ cups cold milk. Whisk until the pudding starts to thicken. This will take several minutes; be sure to scrape from the bottom as you whisk. Spread half of the pudding in an even layer over the cream cheese layer. Top with the chopped candies then pour over the remaining half of the pudding and smooth with a spatula. Let sit in the fridge for at least 5 minutes so the pudding can firm up more. Spread the remaining whipped topping over the pudding layer. Place in the fridge for 4 hours or the freezer for 1 hour before serving. Add the Halloween sprinkles right before serving (the colors on the sprinkles may run if you add them ahead of time).
Notes
If you would prefer to use fresh whipped cream instead of frozen whipped topping, follow this substitution. Beat 1¾ cups cold heavy cream (in a cold metal mixing bowl with a cold beater is preferred) with ¾ cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract until you have stiff peaks. This will make about 4 cups whipped cream.

Recipe from Genius Kitchen.

Cookie Butter Cheesecake Stuffed Pumpkin Bread

Cookie Butter Cheesecake Stuffed Pumpkin Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

Yes, this is real life. We’ve taken a layer of cheesecake and stuffed it inside pumpkin bread. Not just plain cheesecake, but cookie butter cheesecake. This, my friends, is the one baked good you need to make this fall. And then again in the winter. And maybe even this spring and summer because you won’t have gotten enough of it yet.

Cookie Butter Cheesecake Stuffed Pumpkin Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

The pumpkin bread on its own is the best pumpkin bread I’ve ever had. It’s moist, well spiced and packed with pumpkin flavor. A lot of pumpkin bread recipes end up being bland and too light on pumpkin flavor so I love that I found my perfect go-to recipe. It also has just the right amount of sweetness for me since I definitely have a sweet tooth.

Cookie Butter Cheesecake Stuffed Pumpkin Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

If that wasn’t good enough on its own, there’s that cookie butter cheesecake swirled throughout the bread! I like the typical pumpkin and cream cheese pairing, but to me the plain cream cheese tends to overpower the pumpkin sometimes since its slight sourness is in such contrast with the warmly spiced pumpkin. I thought the brown sugar and cinnamon spices of the cookie butter would complement the pumpkin really well. And they do!

Cookie Butter Cheesecake Stuffed Pumpkin Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

The cookie butter might even make it taste a little too good. I usually share all the treats that I make, but this was one I had a tough time parting with. I gave away two slices and the rest got cut up, wrapped and put into the freezer. Although I’m not sure why I bothered freezing it since it will most likely be gone by the time I even post this recipe. [Update: it’s most definitely all gone].

Cookie Butter Cheesecake Stuffed Pumpkin Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you’ve never bought cookie butter, you can find it in a lot of stores now. I buy the Lotus Biscoff brand, which you can find on Amazon here, and Trader Joe’s has their own brand that’s pretty good as well. Already obsessed with cookie butter? Make my Lemon Cookie Butter Cheesecake Parfaits pronto! Maybe even swapping the lemon curd for some pumpkin puree? Okay, I think I just found a recipe to post for next fall!

Cookie Butter Cheesecake Stuffed Pumpkin Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

Cookie Butter Cheesecake Stuffed Pumpkin Bread
 
Yield: 1 loaf
Ingredients
for the cookie butter cheesecake swirl
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup cookie butter
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt (any fat percentage, Greek or regular)
  • 1 large egg
for the pumpkin bread
  • 1⅓ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting
Directions
for the cookie butter cheesecake swirl
  1. Beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar in a large bowl with a hand mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer until smooth and fluffy. Add the cookie butter, yogurt and egg to the bowl and beat until combined. Set aside.
for the pumpkin bread
  1. Make sure your oven rack is positioned in the bottom third of your oven then preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 x 5” loaf pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, add the sugar and pumpkin puree. Whisk to combine then whisk in the oil, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and egg. Add in the flour mixture and whisk until just combined.
  4. Scoop out and reserve 1 cup of the pumpkin batter. Pour the remaining batter into the prepared baking pan and spread it evenly. Use a spoon to scoop the cookie butter cheesecake mixture onto the pumpkin batter in the pan. Take the reserved 1 cup of pumpkin batter and pour it in a line down the center of the pan. Using a knife, swirl the batter and cheesecake layer by inserting the tip of the knife into the batter and dragging/swirling it about 5 times.
  5. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the top of the loaf is cracked and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire cooling rack for 30 minutes then carefully invert onto a plate or another cooling rack before flipping upright. Let cool completely. This will take at least another 1½ hours. Dust with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.
Notes
You can substitute sour cream for the yogurt.

Recipe slightly adapted from Food Network.

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Lemon Blackberry Icebox Cake

Lemon Blackberry Icebox Cake  |  Lemon & Mocha

We’re starting Monday off with a bang! This super simple no-bake Lemon Blackberry Ice Box Cake is channeling summer as we try to soak up the last week of August. I love lemon flavors all the time, but I especially love eating it in the summer since it makes me think of fresh ingredients and sunshine. Combine the lemon with some fresh plump blackberries and we are in full summer mode over here!

Lemon Blackberry Icebox Cake  |  Lemon & Mocha

I made this cake because I wanted to participate in Sally’s Baking Challenge over on Sally’s Baking Addiction. If you aren’t familiar with her blog, she posts a new challenge recipe every month to inspire more people to bake. I participated last month making cherry hand pies you can check out over on my Instagram and I had so much fun that I decided I wanted to participate again this month. The challenge for August is a chocolate chip cookie layer cake, which sounds amazing, but it is HUGE. Since there’s so many challenge months I missed out on, I decided to head into the archives and make a dessert from a past challenge.

Lemon Blackberry Icebox Cake  |  Lemon & Mocha

Last year, she posted one for a lemon blueberry icebox cake. Matt’s not a blueberry fan so we settled on blackberries and that’s how this cake came to be on your screen right now. Well after I made it, photographed it, edited it and loaded it up of course. While all that was happening, this light and tart cake was devoured so it’s safe to say it was a big success. Don’t be fooled by the challenge part; icebox cakes could not be easier since there is absolutely no baking involved.

Lemon Blackberry Icebox Cake  |  Lemon & Mocha

Even though I’ve eaten plenty of them, I’ve actually never make an icebox cake before. An icebox cake is typically made by layering cookies and whipped cream then placing it in the freezer. The cookies soak up moisture from the whipped cream and develop a soft “cake-like” texture. This version has multiple layers and each of them have me doing a happy dance.

Lemon Blackberry Icebox Cake  |  Lemon & Mocha

First, for our cookies we’re using graham crackers. You will need about six full-sheet graham crackers, which is just shy of one whole sleeve. For the whipped cream layer we are making a quick homemade lemon whipped cream. Beat together heavy cream, powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest until you have soft peaks – done! I love a pillowy homemade whipped cream, but the brightness from the lemon takes it to a new level.

Lemon Blackberry Icebox Cake  |  Lemon & Mocha

Finally, we have our homemade blackberry sauce that you can make with a saucepan in under ten minutes. We’re going to layer each component multiple times so you have a show-stopping cake slice like the ones pictured here that will have everyone thinking you spent hours in the kitchen. Below is a quick shot I took to show you how I layered the graham crackers; it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Lemon Blackberry Icebox Cake  |  Lemon & Mocha

I can’t wait for you all to try this one! I’ll be busy over here dreaming up other icebox cake variations to make in the near future.

Lemon Blackberry Icebox Cake  |  Lemon & Mocha

Lemon Blackberry Icebox Cake
 
Yield: 10 servings
Ingredients
for the blackberry sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
for the cake
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 6 full-sheet graham crackers, a little less than 1 standard sleeve
  • Lemon zest and blackberries for garnish, optional
Directions
for the blackberry sauce
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, lemon juice and warm water until the cornstarch dissolves. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the blackberries and sugar. Continue to stir until the blackberries have started releasing some of their juices, then add the cornstarch mixture. Stir for another 2-3 minutes while the blackberry sauce starts to thicken, mashing up some of the blackberries as you stir. Remove from the sauce from the heat and stir in the lemon zest. Set aside until it’s completely cool. Feel free to put it in the fridge if you want to speed up the cooling.
for the cake
  1. Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, making sure there is overhang over the edges so you’ll be able to easily life out the cake. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat together the heavy cream, powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest on medium-high speed with the whisk attachment. Continue to beat until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Soft peaks are when peaks are just starting to hold, but flop over quickly.
  3. Make an extremely thin layer using a couple tablespoons of the whipped cream you just made on the bottom of the prepared loaf pan. This is to help the bottom layer of graham crackers stick. I'm going to describe the layering order here, but there is a quick list in the recipe notes section for reference. First, use about 2 graham crackers to make a single layer (see reference photo in the post). Next, a layer of whipped cream using about ¾ cup of the whipped cream. Then, layer half of the blackberry sauce. After the blackberry sauce comes another whipped cream layer of about ¾ cup followed by another single graham cracker layer. Layer another ¾ cup of whipped cream followed by the remaining blackberry sauce. Then another ¾ cup of whipped cream, a single graham cracker layer, and finally the rest of the whipped cream. Done!
  4. Once you have all your layers, you can top with lemon zest and blackberries for garnish, if desired, then cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours. The icebox cake can be frozen 2-3 days before serving.
  5. When you’re ready to serve, let it soften in the fridge for 1 hour before serving or allow it to sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. Use the plastic wrap overhang on the sides to remove the cake from the pan and cut into slices. All leftovers (if you have any!) should be stored in the fridge.
Notes
Layer the following components in this order:
- Single graham cracker layer (about 2 crackers)
- Whipped cream layer using about ¾ cup of the whipped cream
- Blackberry sauce layer, using half of the blackberry sauce
- Whipped cream layer (3/4 cup)
- Single graham cracker layer (about 2 crackers)
- Whipped cream layer (3/4 cup)
- Blackberry sauce layer (remaining half of blackberry sauce)
- Whipped cream layer (3/4 cup)
- Single graham cracker layer (about 2 crackers)
- Whipped cream layer (the rest of the whipped cream)

Recipe slightly adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction.