Dessert

Lemon Cream Pie Dip

Lemon Cream Pie Dip  |  Lemon & Mocha

It’s funny how you can go through life without ever experiencing a category of food until it suddenly gets introduced to you decades later. This has happened to me several times, but today I’m talking about sweet dips. When I think of dip, I think of spinach and artichoke dip, Mexican layer dip, hummus, salsa – basically everything savory. Little did I know, there is a whole plethora of sweet dessert dips out there!

Lemon Cream Pie Dip  |  Lemon & Mocha

Do you have any sweet dips you like? If you’ve never had or heard of a dessert dip before, the whole concept of it sounds very odd, at least I thought so. A few years ago at work we were going to have a dip party where everyone would bring in different dips and all these dessert dips got mentioned. I did some Google searching and stumbled across a sweet dip that sounded amazing: Lemon Cream Pie Dip.

Lemon Cream Pie Dip  |  Lemon & Mocha

The recipe was simple, like four ingredients simple, so I made it and the rest is history. By that I mean it’s absolutely amazing and I’ve made it over and over ever since then. Cream cheese and powdered sugar get whipped together until fluffy. Then tangy lemon curd gets mixed in – feel free to use store-bought or homemade – followed by folding in some whipped topping or homemade whipped cream. I’ve made it with store-bought lemon curd and whipped topping and I’ve also made it with homemade versions of both. Each time it was delicious so use whatever you prefer.

Lemon Cream Pie Dip  |  Lemon & Mocha

So now that you have the Lemon Cream Pie Dip what do you do with it? I love to serve it with mini Nilla Wafer cookies, graham crackers, fresh fruit or cannoli chips. You could even frost some vanilla cupcakes with it for a lemon-packed treat.

Lemon Cream Pie Dip  |  Lemon & Mocha

However, you will have to wait until Wednesday to see my personal favorite use for this dip, but I promise the wait will be worth it. Enjoy!

Lemon Cream Pie Dip  |  Lemon & Mocha

Lemon Cream Pie Dip
 
Yield: about 4½ cups
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened (see note)
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 10 ounces lemon curd (usually found near jelly in the grocery store)
  • 8 ounces whipped topping, such as Cool Whip, thawed (see note)
Directions
  1. Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer until fluffy and smooth, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the lemon curd and beat until combined.
  3. Gently fold in the whipped topping until blended. Serve cold with mini Nilla wafers, graham crackers, fresh fruit or cannoli chips.
Notes
You must use block cream cheese. You can substitute ⅓ less fat block cream cheese if you prefer.
If you want to use homemade whipped cream, follow these instructions: 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 1½ cups cold heavy whipping cream, ¾ cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. Also feel free to substitute Lite Cool Whip.

Recipe from Food Folks and Fun.

Classic Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

Classic Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream  |  Lemon & Mocha

My summer cupcake post is here! I loved all the cupcake toppers my goddaughter sent me, but I think I was most excited about the summer ones. Look how adorable they are! The crab googly eyes get me every time. Since they are beach themed it felt appropriate to post them at the end of my family’s annual beach week.

Classic Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream  |  Lemon & Mocha

I know we’re already halfway through August (UGH), but thankfully these cupcakes are not just summer cupcakes. These are classic vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream. And by classic I mean perfectly moist, extra fluffy, damn good vanilla cupcakes. Do you know how difficult it is to find a homemade vanilla cupcake recipe that tastes just as good – or better – than those made from a box mix? I’ve tried several over the years and I’ve been disappointed every single time.

Classic Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream  |  Lemon & Mocha

Last week I stumbled upon this delicious vanilla cupcake recipe through a happy accident. I initially was planning on making nectarine cupcakes for the summer cupcake post that were an absolute flop. I plan to revisit that recipe idea, but until then I really wanted to bake and photo something for this post before leaving for beach week the next day.

Classic Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream  |  Lemon & Mocha

Deciding to revisit my perfect vanilla cupcake search I looked through all my cookbooks and Googled plenty, but there was one problem with every recipe: we only had one egg left in the fridge and I didn’t want to go to the store. I know, so lazy, but at least it led me to this recipe! Apparently there’s an old-fashioned recipe called a One Egg Cake from the Joy of Cooking and it requires minimal ingredients, is very simple and makes outrageously fluffy cupcakes!

Classic Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream  |  Lemon & Mocha

I paired these with a traditional vanilla buttercream because sometimes you’re just dying for a classic vanilla-vanilla combo piled high with frosting like you would get at a birthday party. I used a pastry bag fitted with a Wilton 2D tip to frost these cupcakes. If you want something lighter and less sweet then I recommend my mascarpone frosting. Or if you want something chocolatey then definitely make my Perfect Chocolate Frosting. Of course, if you want to turn them into summer cupcakes then make sure to dye the frosting blue and add cute cupcake toppers! Enjoy, friends!

Classic Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream  |  Lemon & Mocha

Classic Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream
 
Yield: 16 cupcakes
Ingredients
for the cupcakes
  • ⅓ cup butter, room temperature
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk, any fat percentage you prefer
for the frosting
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 2½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions
for the cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cupcake pans with cupcake liners so you have enough for 16 cupcakes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined with a whisk attachment, scraping down the sides as needed.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the large bowl and beat on low with the whisk attachment until just combined. Add the milk and beat with the whisk attachment until combined. If the batter is lumpy keep whisking until it isn’t lumpy.
  4. Use a cookie scoop or batter spoon to fill the cupcake liners so they’re half full. You should get 15-16 cupcakes. Bake the cupcakes for 20-22 minutes. They are done with they are golden, the tops spring back when you touch them and just a few moist crumbs come out when you stick a toothpick in the center. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
for the frosting
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft and fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the powdered sugar and the vanilla and beat on low until combined, scraping down the sides as needed. I used a pastry bag fitted with a 2D Wilton tip to frost these cupcakes.

Cupcake recipe slightly adapted from Dinner with Julie.
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral if you purchase something. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!

Nutella S’mores Bars

Nutella S'mores Bars  |  Lemon & Mocha

Nutella. S’mores. Bars. Yes, you read that correctly. Graham blondies, Nutella and melted marshmallows combine together for the ultimate on-the-go s’mores treat. Also, tomorrow is National S’mores Day. Not like you need another reason to make these Nutella S’mores Bars as soon as possible.

Nutella S'mores Bars  |  Lemon & Mocha

I made these bars for family visiting last summer and they were such a big hit that I look for any excuse to make them now. The graham blondie is made with all brown sugar so it’s perfectly chewy. Layered on top of that is Nutella and then gooey marshmallows. The original recipe calls for marshmallow fluff and I’ve made them both ways. I personally prefer the mini marshmallows because it’s easier to just sprinkle them all over the Nutella layer instead of trying to spread sticky fluff on top of Nutella.

Nutella S'mores Bars  |  Lemon & Mocha

Speaking of the Nutella, if you wanted to make these, but someone has a nut allergy, there is a note in the recipe below for swapping it out with chocolate. If no one has a nut allergy then definitely load up on that creamy chocolate hazelnut spread!

Nutella S'mores Bars  |  Lemon & Mocha

Finally, a second layer of the graham blondie gets put on top and it gets the slightest bit crunchy in the oven. Chewy, gooey and crunchy – yes, please!

Nutella S'mores Bars  |  Lemon & Mocha

Not that you will have any leftover, but these bars do freeze well. I know this because Matt and I have tried putting some in the freezer to avoid eating them all right away, which has only ever resulted in us each eating them out of the freezer every single day after I’ve frozen them until they’re gone. Hmm, I guess that trick doesn’t work well for us, but at least now I know they taste fine after being frozen! I know you all will love these bars just as much as we do – enjoy!

Nutella S'mores Bars  |  Lemon & Mocha

Nutella S'mores Bars
 
Yield: 12 bars
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup marshmallow fluff or 1½ cups mini marshmallows (enough to form a single layer)
  • ⅓ cup Nutella (see note)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8x8-inch pan with parchment paper and set aside. I find it easier to line if I crumple the parchment paper first.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and egg, beat until combined. Add the graham mixture and beat on low until just combined.
  4. Spread out half the dough into the prepared baking sheet. Spread the Nutella on top of the dough then top with the fluff or mini marshmallows. Place pieces of the remaining dough on top, lightly pressing down, to form the top crust.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool in the pan on a wire cooling rack. Cool completely before cutting.
Notes
If you have a nut allergy, you can substitute the Nutella with a single layer of chocolate chips or Hershey bar squares.

Recipe from Buns in My Oven.

Plum Pie Cookies

Plum Pie Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

There is no time for stories today because we need to start talking about these Plum Pie Cookies now! These are the August Cookies from the Food Network Magazine Calendar of Cookies and they hit a home run with this recipe. Even though they are called cookies, the pie part of the name is much more accurate. Essentially small hand pies, these Plum Pie Cookies are flaky, buttery, tart and dangerously delicious.

Plum Pie Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The cookies are made from a pie crust that has more sugar than normal, which I think Food Network did to try to take them from a pie to cookie category. The perfectly jammy inside is made from tossing some fresh plums with sugar, cinnamon and a little flour. Plums can be a little sweet and a little tart; a winning combination for these cookies.

Plum Pie Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I don’t know if I mentioned it previously or not, but even though Matt is a fan of lots of different types of dessert, his absolute favorite is pie. Specifically cherry pie. However, I kid you not that might have changed with the baking of these Plum Pie Cookies as Matt announced that if these are the pie dessert I choose to make for the rest of eternity he would be ecstatic. Cherry pie recipe search over – Plum Pie Cookies have been crowned the ultimate dessert.

Plum Pie Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Matt is slowly turning me into more of a pie person and I was also quite smitten with these Plum Pie Cookies. I say that so modestly, while the real truth is I ate three the first day I made them and none from this batch made it out of the house or to the freezer. Oops. I’m perfectly fine with these cookies being in the regular dessert rotation, at least during plum season, because although there’s a fair amount of steps the recipe wasn’t complicated.

Plum Pie Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you’ve worked with pie dough before then you know what to expect; if you haven’t the one thing I would want you to know about pie dough is that it is easier to roll, cut and pick up when it is cold. The original Food Network recipe skipped a lot of nuances when it comes to chilling the dough in a way that keeps the process from getting frustrating so I added in a lot more detail in the recipe below to take you through how I went about making the cookies. When you make these Plum Pie Cookies don’t forget to let me know what you think in the comments!

Plum Pie Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Plum Pie Cookies
 
Yield: 18 cookies
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten, plus 1 beaten egg for brushing
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 small plums
  • Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
Directions
  1. In a food processor, pulse 2½ cups of the flour, ½ cup of the sugar and the salt until combined. Add the butter cubes and pulse until the flour mixture looks crumbly. Add 1 beaten egg and pulse until the dough comes together. Divide the dough into 2 balls. Work each dough ball into a disk and place each disk on a separate piece of wax or parchment paper. Place another piece of wax paper on top of each and then roll out each into an 11-inch to 12-inch round, about ⅛-inch thick. Place both round sheets in the fridge and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Take the first round sheet out of the fridge. Use a circle cookie cutter or biscuit cutter to cut out 2½-inch rounds as close together as possible. Place the rounds on one of the baking sheets and return to the fridge. Put the scraps aside. Take the second round sheet out of the fridge and repeat the cutting out process. After returning the second baking sheet to the fridge, take all the scraps and shape into a disk before placing on a piece of wax or parchment paper. Place another piece of wax paper on top then roll into an 11-inch to 12-inch round, about ⅛-inch thick. Place in the fridge.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining ½ cup sugar, the remaining tablespoon of flour and the cinnamon. Halve, pit and thinly slice the plums. I cut each plum in half then cut each half into 10 thin slices. Then cut each slice in half crosswise. Toss the plum slices in with the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Take one of the baking sheets out of the fridge. Arrange it so you have 9 rounds on the baking sheet. Lightly brush the edges of each of the 9 rounds with the remaining beaten egg. Place 4 plum pieces in the middle of each round then top with a second round of dough (taking more from the second baking sheet in the fridge if you need them). Press the edges to seal them crimp the edges with a fork. Cut 4 small vents on the top of each cookie. Put the baking sheet in the freezer while you work on the second batch.
  5. Take the second baking sheet out of the fridge. Arrange it so you have 9 rounds on the baking sheet. Repeat the steps with the beaten egg and the plums. Top with the rounds you have then take the remaining large round sheet of dough made from the scraps out of the fridge and cut out the remaining rounds. After sealing, crimping and cutting vents remove the first baking sheet from the freezer and replace with this second one.
  6. Lightly brush the cookies with some beaten egg and then sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Bake for 22-24 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown. Let them cool completely on the pan set on a wire cooling rack. Take the second baking sheet from the freezer and repeat.

 Recipe from January/February 2019 issue of Food Network Magazine.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!

Classic Ice Cream Cake

Classic Ice Cream Cake  |  Lemon & Mocha

Classic Ice Cream Cake! Yes! This is the recipe that has been missing from Lemon & Mocha for far too long. As you all know, myself and my family are all obsessed with ice cream. And let’s be honest, most people are obsessed with ice cream. So when you tell people the cake you made is not just a cake, but an ice cream cake, you are guaranteed to get an overly enthusiastic response.

Classic Ice Cream Cake  |  Lemon & Mocha

Other than my Perfect Chocolate Chips Cookies and my Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes, ice cream cakes are the dessert I have made the most. I was debating titling this recipe Classic Birthday Ice Cream Cake, but this cake is too delicious and versatile to be relegated to only birthdays. Family cookouts, graduation parties, 4th of July, that random Tuesday when you got an ice cream cake craving – all valid celebrations for this cake.

Classic Ice Cream Cake  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’ve shared plenty of ice cream pie recipes on here before, from the decadent Hot Fudge Brownie Sundae Ice Cream Pie to the flavor-packed Pumpkin Pecan Ice Cream Pie to the fan favorite Stracciatella Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato Pie, and while those are all great specialty options, this recipe is for a full cake version and is called classic for a reason. We have a bottom crunch layer followed by two layers of ice cream that sandwich together another crunch layer and a sauce layer. The whole cake is then frosted with whipped cream, just like you would get at your neighborhood ice cream shop or Dairy Queen.

Classic Ice Cream Cake  |  Lemon & Mocha

The beauty of this cake, aside from it being a definite crowd-pleaser (although that might be a bad thing if you were expecting leftovers!), is that you can customize it to your favorite ice cream flavors, preferred crunch ingredient and ideal sauce component. My Dad had a big birthday over the weekend (70!) and since he is the ultimate ice cream fanatic I had to bust out this ice cream cake. I went fairly traditional, using Oreo cookie crumbs for the crunch layer, chocolate ganache for the sauce layer and chocolate and black raspberry ice cream. The combination was pure perfection! What is your ideal ice cream cake combination?

Classic Ice Cream Cake  |  Lemon & MochaWhat flavors of ice cream should I use?
Whatever flavors you prefer! You will need 1.5 quarts of each flavor. You could go traditional with vanilla and chocolate or mix it up with cookies and cream and peanut butter cup!

What should I use for the crunch layer?
Oreo cookie crumbs and graham cracker crumbs are my two favorites. I like to use Oreo cookie crumbs when I’m using chocolate in the cake and graham cracker crumbs when I’m having a more vanilla or fruit-forward flavored ice cream cake. Speculoos cookie crumbs, crushed pretzels and chocolate chip cookie crumbs are other great options. This is a great layer to adapt based on the season as well, such as gingersnap cookies in the fall or peppermint cookies in the winter. Whatever you use, make sure they are crumbs and not chunks.

What should I use for the sauce layer?
Chocolate ganache is my go-to since everyone loves it. It has a great fudgy texture in the ice cream cake. Ganache sounds fancy, but it’s easy to make: heat cream then stir in chocolate chips and butter until melted and smooth. You could make a peanut butter version by using peanut butter chips instead. Or go in a completely different direction and use marshmallow topping.

Classic Ice Cream Cake  |  Lemon & MochaWhat size pan should I use?
I use a 9-inch springform pan that I line with two pieces of plastic wrap to make it even easier to take the cake out. The springform pan is nice because it is deep and you’re able to take off the ring for easy removal; a regular 9-inch cake pan will not be deep enough. Alternatively if you use a 9-inch by 3-inch round cake pan then it should be deep enough.

How do I make the ice cream layers smooth?
I was making ice cream cakes for years before I stumbled on this little trick: beat your ice cream to make it spreadable without making it melty. I use the paddle attachment on my stand mixer. If you try to scoop right from the ice cream container into the cake pan you will get a combination of ice cream that is both too melted and too hard to be smoothed and packed in properly. You can certainly do it that way, I just wouldn’t recommend it. Beating the ice cream is the best way to ensure all the ice cream will fit in the pan and you will have smooth and packed ice layers when you cut into the cake.

How do I frost the cake with whipped cream?
Frosting with whipped cream can be a little fussy so I’ve taken special care to write up a detailed step-by-step in the recipe. It’s not complicated; I’ve just found there are certain steps you need to follow if you want it looking like the ice cream cakes you get at your local shop. After you do it once you will be a pro for life! I used a Wilton #22 star tip for the piping. If you don’t need it looking picture perfect you can skip all those steps and just pile a whole bunch of whipped cream on the top of your cake. It will still taste just as good!

Classic Ice Cream Cake  |  Lemon & Mocha

Classic Ice Cream Cake
 
Yield: 8-10 servings
Ingredients
  • 2⅓ cups Oreo cookie crumbs (about 18 Oreos)
  • 1½ quarts chocolate ice cream
  • 2½ cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1⅓ cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1½ quarts black raspberry ice cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles, for decorating
Directions
  1. Line a 9-inch springform pan with plastic wrap so it goes up and over the sides. I use 2 pieces. Spread 1 cup of the Oreo cookie crumbs into the lined springform. Use the flat bottom of a small measuring cup to press down firmly into an even layer.
  2. Scoop the container of chocolate ice cream into the bowl of a stand mixer then beat with your paddle attachment until smooth and spreadable. Use a rubber spatula to spoon over the cookie crumb layer and spread into an even layer. Put in the freezer.
  3. Make the chocolate ganache. Heat ½ cup of the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until just steaming. Reduce heat to low and add the chocolate chips. Stir until melted then add the butter. Stir until the butter has melted and the ganache is smooth and shiny. Remove from the heat and let cool. Once the ganache has cooled (doesn’t need to be room temperature, just not too warm), take the ice cream cake from the freezer and add the remaining 1⅓ cups Oreo crumbs. Spread into an even layer, pressing down slightly. Pour the cooled chocolate ganache over top and return the cake to the freezer.
  4. Once the ganache has mostly set, scoop the container of black raspberry ice cream into the bowl of a stand mixer then beat with your paddle attachment until smooth and spreadable. Use a rubber spatula to spoon over the chocolate ganache layer and spread into an even layer. Put in the freezer and let set until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Make the whipped cream. Place a metal mixing bowl or the metal bowl of a stand mixer in the freezer along with the metal beaters or beater for 5-10 minutes. Remove and add the remaining 2 cups of heavy cream (make sure your cream is cold), powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat on medium-high until stiff peaks form. If you just want to frost the top of the cake, follow the directions in the note at the bottom of the recipe. If you want to frost the cake with the whipped cream like in the photos, keep reading.
  6. Take the cake out of the freezer and open the ring of the springform pan. Use the plastic wrap to lift up the cake; carefully remove the plastic wrap and transfer the cake to a cake board or platter (that will still fit in your freezer). Working quickly, cover the top and sides of the cake with a crumb coat of the whipped cream. This means you put a light layer all over the cake, but there will be ice cream and cookie crumbs in it. This will help give you a smooth surface for the next layer. Return to the freezer until mostly firm (and store the whipped cream, still in the metal bowl, in the fridge). When the crumb coat is firm, remove from the freezer and use an offset spatula to apply a second coat of the whipped cream on the top and sides, smoothing as you go. Return to the freezer. At this point you will probably need to re-whip your whipped cream in order for it to be stiff enough to pipe. Re-whip the whipped cream on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Add the whipped cream to a piping bag fit with your preferred piping tip. I used a Wilton #22 star tip. Take the cake from the freezer and pipe stars all along the top border. Then pipe a decorative line around the bottom edge of the cake where it meets the cake board or platter. Decorate with sprinkles and store in the freezer until ready to serve. The cake can usually be cut right out of the freezer with a sharp knife.
Notes
- This recipe calls for the entire Oreo cookie including the creme filling.
- You can make the ganache ahead of time if you prefer. Store in the fridge until ready to use and then gently heat in the microwave until smooth and pourable before using.
- If you just want to frost the top of the cake, follow these directions: Pile the whipped cream on top and leave in the freezer until ready to serve. When ready to serve, open the ring of the springform pan. Use the plastic wrap to lift up the cake; carefully remove the plastic wrap and transfer the cake to a cake board or platter.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral if you purchase something. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!