Dessert

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.

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

November already? I’m here to sweeten your Friday with these Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins! Another monthly muffin post, except there’s something different about this one. This is not the Food Network Magazine’s November muffin recipe. Theirs was a corn chestnut muffin that Matt and I could not get excited about so I made these Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins instead!

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

I used the base from February’s Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins since they were extra chocolatey and moist. Then I add some cinnamon and brown sugar spiced pecans to the top that you can whip together in a small mixing bowl. The inspiration for these November muffins came from my love of chocolate pecan pie – see recipe for Mini Molten Chocolate Pecan Pies – but way easier and perfect for eating for breakfast.

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

There’s a few things I miss about college, but one of the biggest is their dining hall food – is that weird? Every once and a while Boston College would have slices of the most amazing chocolate pecan pie in to-go boxes and I always had to get it, and maybe a second one for my mini fridge. As you know I have a hard time parting with chocolate treats and I begrudgingly shared these muffins, but I’m glad I did because everyone really liked them! Also, because then I would have eaten them all so basically a win-win all around.

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

It’s also fitting to be posting these for the November Muffins since Diane’s birthday is later this month and my stepmom loves chocolate pecan pie – big emphasis on the chocolate! I hope you all love these muffins! I don’t like the sound of December’s muffin either so I have something in the works for that one, too. Think savory like March’s Irish Cheddar, Bacon and Potato Muffins – yum!

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

Did any of you make the Food Network Magazine’s November muffins? What did you think? Also, don’t forget to turn back your clocks this weekend. Fun fact – Japan hasn’t observed daylight savings time since 1951, but they are considered adopting it for the 2020 Olympic Games. Okay, that’s all I have for you today, happy Friday, friends!

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins
 
Yield: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the chopped pecans, melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and pinch of salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate chips and stir to combine.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the milk and vegetable oil then whisk until smooth. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  5. Evenly pour the batter into the prepared paper liners. Each muffin cup should be filled ⅔ to the top. Bake for 2 minutes then remove the muffin pan from the oven and working quickly, spoon some of the pecan mixture into the center of each muffin. Return the pan to the oven. Continue to bake for 16-20 more minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out with just a crumb or two.
  6. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes then move the muffins to a cooling rack until completely cooled.

 Recipe from January/February 2018 issue of Food Network Magazine.

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Boozy Pumpkin Nutella Hot Chocolate

Boozy Pumpkin Nutella Hot Chocolate  |  Lemon & Mocha

Happy Halloween, everyone! I wanted to send out a quick post to wish you all a Happy Halloween and to share an easy and creamy hot chocolate recipe. This Boozy (or non-boozy) Pumpkin Nutella Hot Chocolate is perfect for staying warm while passing out Halloween candy or for pouring into a to-go mug to sip on while taking your kids trick-or-treating.

Boozy Pumpkin Nutella Hot Chocolate  |  Lemon & Mocha

A couple years ago I shared my Spiked Hazelnut Hot Chocolate, also known as when I discovered you could combine hot milk and Nutella to make a irresistible homemade hot chocolate. Mind still blown!

Boozy Pumpkin Nutella Hot Chocolate  |  Lemon & Mocha

This year I’ve added some pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice since I’m about all things pumpkin in the fall. Both the chocolatey Nutella and the warming spice of the pumpkin come through and the whipped cream on top is key for making it extra cozy. I tried to slowly sip on mine to make it last, but as soon as it got cool enough next thing I knew my mug was empty. I love the extra depth of flavor the pumpkin adds to the hot chocolate so I’ll probably be making this one all hot chocolate season long. Yes, hot chocolate season is a thing!

Boozy Pumpkin Nutella Hot Chocolate  |  Lemon & Mocha

You can keep this drink alcohol free for the kids and non-drinkers or you can turn it into Boozy Pumpkin Nutella Hot Chocolate. My original Spiked Hazelnut Hot Chocolate recipe called for some hazelnut liquor, like Frangelico, but apparently there is a pumpkin spice Kahlua that tastes really good according to Adam Rippon that would taste so good in this boozy hot chocolate. The recipe below only makes one, but I have a feeling you’re going to need to multiply that so you can share!

Boozy Pumpkin Nutella Hot Chocolate  |  Lemon & Mocha

Just a reminder that I’ll be in Japan starting today for the next week and a half so if I don’t get to your comments or emails right away that is why. <Insert all the excited and sushi emojis here!!!> I hope you all enjoy today and tonight with your family and friends! What are your plans for Halloween? Let me know in the comments below! Maybe making this Boozy Pumpkin Nutella Hot Chocolate?!

Boozy Pumpkin Nutella Hot Chocolate  |  Lemon & Mocha

Boozy Pumpkin Nutella Hot Chocolate
 
Yield: 1 hot chocolate
Ingredients
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons Nutella
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon hazelnut liquor or pumpkin spice Kahlua, optional
  • ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more for topping
  • Whipped cream
Directions
  1. Heat the milk on the stove top or in the microwave until lightly steaming. Add the Nutella, pumpkin puree, liquor (if using), and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk until smooth. Top with whipped cream and a light dusting of pumpkin pie spice.
Notes
You can use any type of milk that you prefer.

 

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.

Halloween Witch Chocolate Cupcakes

Halloween Witch Chocolate Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

Halloween is next week! I love Halloween and I’m so excited to be sharing another festive Halloween treat with you. Last year I shared the Chocolate Marshmallow Monster Cookie Sandwiches and before that there were some Halloween Witches’ Cauldron Cupcakes. This year, we have Halloween Witch Chocolate Cupcakes. Notice a theme? I’m clearly a chocoholic! These are moist chocolate cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting and easy DIY witch leg cupcake toppers. I saw these all over Pinterest and decided they were too cute not to make. I’ve added a link to download a handy free printable I made for you all to the bottom of this post so all you’ll have to do is print and cut out the little witch boots.

Halloween Witch Chocolate Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

The cupcakes are my Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes and they really are the best chocolate cupcakes. I topped them with a neon green cream cheese frosting that’s not too sweet before adding the witch leg toppers. I’ve linked to the supplies I used below as well.

Halloween Witch Chocolate Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

When I was growing up, my brother and I loved making haunted houses. If our family was having a party with family friends we would set up the haunted house in the basement. When we got older and no longer went trick-or-treating, my brother and I set up the haunted house in our garage so the trick-or-treaters could walk through it. We would go all out with the decorations and everyone in the family had a role, whether you were supposed to hide under a table and grab people’s legs as they walked by (usually me) or whether you were dressed up like a zombie (usually my brother). My brother was the creative one and my favorite design element was always the soundtrack tapes he would make. One year without my Dad knowing, my brother recorded my Dad bench pressing weights. My Dad’s grunting and the clanking of the metal weights made the best spooky sounds!

Halloween Witch Chocolate Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

The funny part about all this is that I hate being scared. I don’t like going in haunted houses, going on spooky hay rides or watching scary movies. There is a haunted house ride at the boardwalk where we have our family beach week every summer and my cousin, who is six years younger than me, would try to reassure me during the ride and tell me to open my eyes! Apparently I love everything about haunted houses, except actually going in them! Do you love haunted houses or are they not your thing?

Halloween Witch Chocolate Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

Matt and I are doing something a little different this year for Halloween – we will be flying to Tokyo, Japan! I’m so excited! Japan has been on our travel bucket list so we are heading to Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. Don’t worry; I have plenty of posts scheduled while we’re away, but my access to internet and email will be limited so I may not respond to comments or emails until I return. In the meantime, I have some cozy dinner recipes coming for you this week so stay tuned!

Halloween Witch Chocolate Cupcakes  |  Lemon & Mocha

Printables
Option 1: Print out a pair of witch boots and cut them out. Trace the pair of witch boots onto black construction paper, one pair traced for each cupcake, then cut out the pairs of witch boots. Get that printable here. The boots I made for these photos were made using black construction paper.
Option 2: Print out solid black witch boots with black ink from your printer. Cut them out. Get that printable here (print two copies).

Supplies Used:
Paper straws
Neon gel food dye
Cupcake liners
Round piping tip

Halloween Witch Chocolate Cupcakes
 
Yield: 24 cupcakes
Ingredients
for the witch leg toppers
  • 24 paper straws
  • 24 sets of witch boots, using printable and either black printer ink or black construction paper
  • Tape
for the chocolate cupcakes
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk, see note
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot coffee, see note
for the cream cheese frosting
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 12 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Neon gel food dye
Directions
for the witch leg toppers
  1. Cut the straws in half.
  2. Cut out the witch boots. Use a small piece of tape that’s been rolled up to stick each boot to a straw half. Make sure the straw is coming out of the ankle of the boot. Make sure you have a left and right boot pointing out in opposite directions for each cupcake.
for the chocolate cupcakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cupcake pans with cupcake liners so you have enough for 24 cupcakes.
  2. In a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together until smooth.
  4. Pour the hot coffee into the batter and stir until combined. The batter will be extremely liquidy. Divide the batter between the 24 cupcake liners, filling them slightly more than half full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes back mostly clean. Alternatively, they are done when you gently press your finger on the center of a cupcake and it lightly springs back. I find mine to be done at exactly 19 minutes.
  5. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes then remove to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
for the cream cheese frosting
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract until combined. Add the food dye and mix, continue to add until the desired color is achieved.
  2. Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes and stick a pair of witch legs into each cupcake. Frosted cupcakes require refrigeration since cream cheese frosting has to be refrigerated. You may want to wait to put the toppers in until you are ready to serve them in case they get soggy or the coloring on the straw runs.
Notes
To make your own buttermilk: pour 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar in a liquid measuring cup. Pour milk, any fat percentage, into the measuring cup until you have 1 cup. Let sit for 5 minutes before using.
If you don’t want to use coffee you can use hot water, but the flavor of the chocolate won’t be as pronounced. You can use decaffeinated coffee if you prefer.
The cupcakes, unfrosted, freeze very well if you want to make them ahead of time.

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!