This past year I was lucky enough to become Insta-friends with ORZ raw honey. We did a trade—my handcrafted caramels for her organic honey. I couldn’t wait to use it in a dessert. I wanted something that would really highlight the natural flavor of the honey—and this buttercream recipe does exactly that. I paired it with a tender lemon cake which balances the sweetness perfectly. Good, quality honey really makes a difference and lets the flavor shine. This makes an ideal tea party or brunch cake—I wouldn’t think twice about eating it for breakfast either with a hot cup of tea. The honey buttercream can be used on other cake or cupcake flavors as well—it would be amazing on a dark chocolate cake.
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
5 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons organic raw honey
4-5 tablespoons heavy cream
Whip softened butter and honey with a mixer until combined. Add powdered sugar slowly, alternating with tablespoons of heavy cream. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add more or less cream to achieve a spreadable consistency.
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 whole egg + 2 yolks
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup milk
1-1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. With a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the whole egg followed by the yolks and mix until combined. Then add the lemon juice and zest. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk to the batter until all is incorporated well. Don’t over mix to ensure a tender cake. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove cake from pan and cool before frosting.
There’s nothing quite like driving out into the country on a beautiful sunny day to go cherry picking in Michigan. I had my heart set on making a cherry crisp and luckily Lehman’s Orchard in Niles still had tart cherries ripe for picking. The July sun was quite hot, but some areas under the fruit trees gave just enough shade. This was my first time picking cherries and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Picking is easy and fun—I got 5 lbs in no time. I was surprised at how naturally bright red the cherries were—almost like cherry tomatoes in the sun.
“Taking the extra step to source your own fruit…you just appreciate it that much more in the baking process.”
Lehman’s Orchard has a do-it-yourself washing station and complimentary cherry pitting, which I took advantage of. There’s something so special about picking and washing your own fruit. Of course, time and season doesn’t always allow…but the end result is so worth it when you take that first bite into warm cherry crisp—berries bursting with flavor.
Tart Cherry Almond Crisp
For the Cherry Pie Filling:
5 cups fresh pitted tart cherries
1 cup sugar
4 Tbsp instant Tapioca
1/2 cup reserved tart cherry juice
1/2 tsp almond extract
pinch of salt
For the Crisp Topping:
1 cup flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 stick softened butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon
In a large saucepan, blend together sugar, tapioca and salt using a whisk. Add cherry juice and stir until well blended; add pitted cherries. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture reaches a boil, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in almond extract. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease two 9-inch pie plates or similar size baking dishes. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon then add the butter. Combine with a fork or your hands until medium clumps form. Add almonds and stir to combine. Spoon cooled cherry filling into prepared baking dishes and add topping evenly. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned on top. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
My favorite summertime dessert has always been strawberry shortcake. Simple, not too heavy or overly sweet—perfect for bbqs and Fourth of July! Here I’ll show you three ways to make strawberry shortcake using my cream cheese pound cake. Recipe for that at the end of the post!
Grilled Strawberry Shortcake
Give your shortcake a whole new spin by grilling slices of dense pound cake. Works just as well on a grill pan as a traditional grill. Just be sure to oil or grease the pan or grill grates so your cake doesn’t get stuck! A few minutes of medium to high heat on each side should do the trick to get those wonderful grill marks. Serve immediately and top with sliced, sweetened strawberries and whipped cream.
Mini Strawberry Shortcake Bundt Cakes
I can never get enough of mini bundt cakes—they are perfectly portioned and look so elegant. Just prepare the cream cheese pound cake batter and pour into well-greased mini bundt pans. Don’t overcook and cool a bit in the pan before carefully inverting them onto a cooling rack. Spoon sliced strawberries in the middle of each mini bundt and top with whipped cream.
Strawberry Shortcake Shooters
Individual shortcake shooters are an easy way to serve dessert at your next party—and can be assembled in advance. Simply layer chunks of pound cake with sliced, sweetened strawberries in shooter glasses and top with whipped cream. Serve chilled with mini spoons and you’re all set!
Cream Cheese Pound Cake
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups flour
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour either a 10-inch Bundt pan, mini bundt pans, or two loaf pans lined with parchment. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the softened butter and cream cheese. Slowly add the sugar, mixing until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, incorporating well and scraping the sides. Slowly add the flour and salt, mixing until just combined. Lastly, add the vanilla extract. Pour into prepared pans and bake 1 hour 40 min for large Bundt pan or loafs, and 20-25 min for mini bundt pans. Cake is done with toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pans for 5-10 minutes then invert carefully onto a cooling rack.