Apple and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake with Caramel Pecan Topping


Cream Cheese Filling:
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Apple Cake Batter:
1 cup finely chopped pecans
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups peeled and finely chopped apples (about 1 1/2 lb.)

Caramel Pecan Frosting:
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup pecan halves (garnish)


Prepare Filling: Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended and smooth. Add egg, flour, and vanilla; beat just until blended.

Prepare Batter: Preheat oven to 350º. Bake pecans in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Stir together 3 cups flour and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in eggs and next 3 ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in apples and pecans.

Spoon two-thirds of apple mixture into a greased and floured 14-cup Bundt pan. Spoon Cream Cheese Filling over apple mixture, leaving a 1-inch border around edges of pan. Swirl filling through apple mixture using a paring knife. Spoon remaining apple mixture over Cream Cheese Filling.

Bake at 350º for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 2 hours).

Prepare Frosting: Bring 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 3 Tbsp. milk to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth; stir gently 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture begins to cool and thickens slightly. Pour immediately over cooled cake. Garnish with pecans.

Fried Lasagna


10 lasagna noodles, cooked al dente
1 15- oz. container ricotta
4 eggs, lightly beaten (divided)
2 cloves garlic, minced
kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 c. shredded mozzarella
1/4 c. finely chopped parsley
vegetable oil
1/2 c. flour
2 c. Italian breadcrumbs
Marinara sauce, warm (for serving)


Lay cooked lasagna noodles flat, in an even layer, on a greased baking sheet.

In medium bowl, combine ricotta, 1 egg and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Mix until evenly combined. Spread the ricotta mixture onto each lasagna noodle, then sprinkle with mozzarella. Fold each lasagna noodle 3-4 times, to create a square. Freeze the lasagna servings on the baking sheet for 30 minutes, or until hardened.

When the lasagna squares are frozen, set up a dredging station. Divide the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in three separate shallow bowls. Season breadcrumbs with salt and pepper. Working in batches, dredge lasagna in the flour mixture then dip in eggs. Toss in breadcrumbs for the final dredge.

Meanwhile, heat oil. Pour about 1 1/2” vegetable oil into a large, deep skillet (or a shallow pot). Heat over medium heat until the oil reaches about 350 degrees F, or until the oil is shimmering. (If a splash of water sizzles when you flick it into the pan, it’s ready.) Working in batches, add 3-4 lasagna squares to the hot oil using tongs. Do not crowd the pan, or the oil will cool! Cook until golden brown on one side, about 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook until the second side is golden, 2-3 more minutes. Place the fried lasagna squares on a cooling rack lined with paper towels. Repeat until all the lasagna is fried.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve with warm marinara for serving.

White Wedding Cake Cupcakes


1 box white cake mix
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated white sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups water
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
4 large egg whites

Buttercream Frosting:
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 Tablespoons whipping cream


Preheat oven to 325°F. Place cupcake liners in cupcake pans (you’ll need approx. 36).

In a large bowl, whisk together cake mix, flour, sugar and salt. Add remaining ingredients and beat with hand mixer for 2 minutes, or until well blended.

Use ice cream scoop to fill prepared cupcake tins- fill about 3/4 full. Bake about 18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool completely then frost with buttercream frosting.

Buttercream Frosting:

In a large bowl, with a hand or stand mixer, cream together sugar and butter on low speed. Mix until well blended. Increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.

Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for desired spreading/piping consistency.

Scoop into a piping bag and pipe decoratively onto cupcakes, or spread onto cupcakes as desired.