Category Archives: Desserts

Fresh Apple Cake with Crumb Topping

Fresh apple cake. Sounds like the perfect fall dessert. Or maybe year round dessert.

Yummy picture of this fresh apple cake is amazing - loaded with apples and a delicious crumb topping. This recipe will have you dreaming of Fall. Family favorite!

Let’s talk apples for a minute. There are fresh apples and then there are apples fresh off of the tree.

Oh my goodness, aren’t they amazing?

A friends brought me two plastic sacks full of of apples from their trees last week. That meant a few things needed to happen. Making homemade applesauce, baking a fresh apple cake, and lots of eating them raw. My kids ate these up. They tasted so good.

This fresh apple cake with crumb topping was incredible but I think it’s safe to say it would be just as good with store bought apples. Give me this cake over an apple pie any day. (I actually prefer a good apple crisp over the pie too. That probably makes me crazy!)

The apple to flour ratio in this cake is so good you almost think you are eating health food. ūüôā

Then there is the crumble topping that puts this cake over the top.

I also love that the recipe uses all basic ingredients that anyone typically has on hand. Then there are even easy swaps you can make within these basic ingredients.

Substitute Options:

Fat: the recipe calls for butter but feel free to replace it with coconut oil (or other oil of your choice) in the cake and the crumb topping.

Flour: this recipe calls for white flour, but whole wheat flour would make the perfect substitute. Soft white wheat is my favorite for non yeast breads.

Sugar:¬†the original recipe called for 1 1/3 cups. I have it cut down to 1 cup here and it is still plenty sweet. If your family isn’t used to super sweet desserts, you could cut it down even further. Try 3/4 cup and go from there. I would say, probably don’t use a granny smith apple if you are reducing the sugar. (You can also skimp a little on the sugar in the topping. I’d start with trying 3/4 cup once again.)

Nuts: nuts are one of those personal preference things. Do what works best for your family. My crew prefers without.

Half a recipe: this recipe is one where you can easily cut it in half. Bake in a square baking dish and decrease the baking time.

Fresh Apple Cake 

Fresh Apple Cake
  • ½ cup butter, softened (oil will work as well)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups raw apples, chopped finely
  • ½ cups chopped nuts (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  1. Combine butter and sugar for the cake; add beaten eggs. Sift dry ingredients together and add alternately with the chopped apples and nuts to the butter mixture.
  2. Put into a greased 9x13 inch pan.
  3. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle evenly over the cake batter.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.


What’s your favorite apple recipe? Are you eh about apple pie like me or a raving fan like my husband? (But he does¬†love this cake and apple crisp too.)

Yummy picture of fresh apple cake is amazing - loaded with apples and a delicious crumb topping. This recipe will have you dreaming of Fall. Family favorite!

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

3 ingredient gluten free peanut butter cookies. Yum! In full disclosure, sometimes these 3 ingredient cookies get 5 ingredients added to them. But either way, they are made from pantry staples and whip up in a flash.

gluten free peanut butter cookies sitting on a plate

Affiliate links are used in this post.

These are also a gluten free and dairy free cookie! Woohoo!!! Considering we are in the middle of 3 months without dairy or gluten for one of our children right now, this is a big deal.

Someday soon I’d love to remake these using maple syrup or honey and 100% peanuts peanut butter, but in the meantime I needed to share this simple 3 ingredient gluten free peanut butter cookie recipe with you! The kids love eating them and I love how simple they are to whip up. Win win.

Before we dive into the recipe, I want to let you know what the 2 optional ingredients are. First off, vanilla. We know that vanilla makes pretty much everything better. Second, baking soda. This changes the color and how the cookie bakes just slightly. But again, you can leave it out.

The one problem with three ingredient gluten free peanut butter cookies is that they tend to fall apart easily. I would make them on the small side to help remedy that problem (a child in tears because their cookie fell apart is never fun, right?). If you can resist diving in right away, I would let them cool all the way as well.

I like to decrease the sugar to 3/4 cup, but that also slightly increases the breakability (like my made up word ūüėČ ) of them.

One last thing, I love using my cookie scoop for these. I find it faster than a spoon because the dough is quite sticky.

NOW, for this incredibly easy peanut butter cookie recipe.

If you are looking for another yummy cookie recipe (that includes gluten and dairy) check out this one that came from my grandma.

gluten free peanut butter cookies stacked on a plate

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • ¾-1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla, optional
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda, optional
  • Additional sugar for rolling
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
  3. Place small scoops of dough in bowl with additional sugar and lightly coat the top.
  4. Place on cookie sheet and use a fork to gently press down in both directions to create the traditional peanut butter cookie crisscross.
  5. Bake for 6-7 minutes. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet before removing to cooling rack.



Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Delicious oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe. These cookies are buttery, thin, chewy and oh so good!

I associate memories or people with a lot of foods. These Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies are one of the recipes that we made when I was growing up that my mom got from her mom. Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, and molasses cookies are always the first recipes I associate with my grandma and they are all delicious.

These are a fun twist on a traditional chocolate chip cookie. Perfect for when you want something a little different extra or maybe even just want to feel healthier about your dessert indulgence. (Because anything with oatmeal has to be healthier, right?!)

When I made these this last time my husband commented,¬†“You know, normally I think oatmeal ruins a chocolate chip cookie but these are actually really good.” If you know Shaun’s love of a good chocolate chip cookies, that’s saying something. Besides, I really don’t think you can have too many cookies in your repertoire.¬†

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Delicious oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. These cookies are buttery, thin, chewy and oh so good!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 1¾ cups flour
  • 1 t. soda
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 c. butter
  • ¾ c. brown sugar
  • ¾ c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t. hot water
  • 2 c. old fashioned oats
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Cream butter and sugars.
  2. Add eggs, water, and vanilla. Mix well.
  3. Combine 1½ cups flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix well.
  4. Add oatmeal and combine. Add up to an extra ¼ cup of flour depending on your dough consistency.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes.
  7. Makes 2 - 2/12 dozen cookies.


Bring your favorite¬†chocolate dessert to¬†Roxana‚Äôs home baking #chocolateparty¬†and win amazing prizes from¬†Imperial Sugar¬ģ,¬†Gold Medal Flour¬ģ,¬†Safest Choice‚ĄĘ Pasteurized Eggs¬†and¬†KitchenAid¬ģ

Super yummy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. This recipes came from my grandma and the cookies and a thin and chewy perfection.

Russian Tea Cakes

Russian Tea Cakes aka snowballs or Mexican Wedding Cakes (or Dust Balls as we called them. These are my favorite Christmas cookies. Super easy and they melt in your mouth.

Who doesn’t love a Christmas Cookie Exchange?

Find several great Christmas cookie recipes and link up your  own Christmas cookie recipe!

We would like to share with you some of our favorite Christmas cookies! ¬†We can’t give you the actual cookie, but we can give you the recipes! ¬†You can see one of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes below, and then find links to several other great Christmas cookie recipes at the bottom of this post.¬†¬† We have also provided a linky on the bottom for you to link up your favorite Christmas cookies! ¬†Come participate in our Online Christmas Cookie Exchange!

Here’s my recipe:

So only the recipe card says Russian Tea Cakes.¬†The name we actually growing up calling this fabulous little cookies by? No, not snowball cookies like the rest of the world. Our name was a little more unique. We called them¬†Dust Balls.¬†That’s actually the name I still call them. But for some reason, I don’t think a cookie recipe called¬†Dust Balls¬†would go over well to the rest of the world so I’m calling them¬†Russian Tea Cakes once again for the sake of this post. ¬†What name do you use for these cookies? I know others who call them Mexican Wedding Cakes too.

Now that we got the name out of the way, let me tell you that I LOVE these cookies. They are easily in my top 3 Christmas cookies to make each year. They are delicate – like little balls of shortbread rolled in powdered sugar. I also love that they aren’t overly sweet.

Do yourself a favor and make a double batch while you are at it! The 24 cookies will be gone in no time – they are that addicting. They keep well in the freezer as well.

The nuts in this recipe are optional in my book. We do it both ways. Growing up, a lot of us kids didn’t like nuts messing with our desserts but now walnuts and pecans are some of my favorite things. Do what will make your family happy.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Russian Tea Cakes
Serves: 24 cookies
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2¼ cups flour
  • ¾ cup chopped nuts
  • additional powdered sugar
  1. Cream butter and sugar.
  2. Sift flour and salt. Add to butter mixture.
  3. Blend in vanilla and nuts.
  4. Form in 1 inch balls.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 14 minutes.
  6. While warm roll in powdered sugar.


Russian Tea Cakes aka snowballs or Mexican Wedding Cakes (or Dust Balls as we called them. These are my favorite Christmas cookies. Super easy and they melt in your mouth.

You can go to the following blogs to see their Christmas cookie recipes.  These recipes are also first on the linky below.  

Creative K Kids¬†— Santa’s Surprises
Simple Hacks Living —¬†Candy Cane Snowballs
Gypsy Road —¬†Incense & Peppermint
My Life Abundant —¬†My Favorite Cookie with Ernest T. Bass
Home Garden Joy —¬†Christmas Cookie Recipe Fudge Ecstasy Cookies
Barbara Vogelgesang —¬†12 Days of Christmas Cookies – Rainbow Cookies
From this Kitchen Table —¬†Russian Tea Cakes – The Best Christmas Cookie Ever
Baking With Mom —¬†Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies
Back Home Again¬†—¬†Nutella Cookies
Surviving Toddlerhood —¬†Almond Joy Cookie Bites {Grain Free, Refined Sugar Free, Egg Free}
Creative Pink Butterfly —¬†Coconut Macaroon Recipe
The Southern Fried Bride —¬†Peppermint Wonderland Bars
One Hoolie Mama —¬†5 Ingredient Christmas Cookies
Snapshots and Snippets —¬†Snowmen Cookies

You can also follow our Online Exchange Christmas Cookie Pinterest Board HERE to see all the  posts that are linked up below plus some other great Christmas posts that we find!

Follow our Online Christmas Cookie Exchange Board on Pinterest!

We would love it if you grabbed our button so that others can find this linky!

Creative K Kids

Link up your Christmas cookie recipes, and they will be seen on all the hosts’ blogs!

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Caramel Apple Bars

The most amazing caramel apple bars! I love these better than pie and crisp - it's that good. Perfect dessert for any meal and you can make the day before. Yum!

Caramel and apples make a perfect match and putting the two together in bar form is no exception. Did you hear that? Bar form! Yes, that means you can pick these up and take a bite out of them. You can’t do that with apple crisp or apple pie! If you want to dress this dessert up even more, place it on a plate and top with some vanilla ice cream and dig in with a fork, but you don’t have to (unlike that pesky pie and crisp that everyone seems to think needs either ice cream or whipped cream)!

I want to know who said Thanksgiving dessert has to be pie? I think Caramel Apple Bars would be the perfect ending to the big turkey dinner. Save yourself the hassle of rolling crusts this year. ūüôā

I use my yummy homemade caramel sauce. You’ll have about 1/2 cup leftover to top ice cream, drizzle into apple cider, or I suppose you could even drizzle each serving of these bars with even more caramel.

(And remember that fabulous apple pie ice cream recipe I posted a while back? You could easily substitute these bars for the pie!)

4.5 from 4 reviews
Caramel Apple Bars
  • 1¾ cups flour
  • 1⅔ cups rolled oats
  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • 14 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup caramel sauce
  • 3 cups of diced peeled apples
  1. Combine oats, flour, sugar, soda, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Mix. Add in softened butter and stir until mixture comes together.
  2. Press a little over half (around 2½ cups) of the mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and spread diced apples over the crust. Drizzle apples with caramel sauce and top with remaining oat mixture.
  5. Bake for 25 more minutes.
  6. Cool and cut into squares.
I use my homemade caramel sauce. You could also use jarred.

  The most amazing caramel apple bars! I love these better than pie and crisp - it's that good. Perfect dessert for any meal and you can make the day before. Yum!

For another great fall dessert, check out this Pumpkin Cheesecake:

Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake. The perfect dessert to finish any meal. Uses a pie pan too - no special pan necessary!

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Homemade Apple Pie Ice Cream

Oh my goodness! This homemade apple pie ice cream is incredible - all time favorite for our entire family. MUST make. (Plan for extra pie this Thanksgiving!)

Vanilla ice cream and apple pie, also known as my husband’s favorite dessert. Combine the two together and you have perfection. Creamy vanilla ice cream with a touch of cinnamon and real apple pie bites mixed in and you have the perfect fall dessert. Ice cream is the ideal ending to any meal, even as the outdoor temperatures cool down and this recipe proves it.

I have an addiction to homemade ice cream. In fact, my automatic ice cream maker is my favorite kitchen appliance.

After months of thinking about it, we finally experimented and made Homemade Apple Pie Ice Cream. Let me tell you, it should have happened a long time ago. This recipe is a winner. My husband declared the ice cream exceptional and a good friend said it was her favorite ice cream of the many I’ve made so far!

I made this ice cream lightly sweetened because I knew the apple pie was going to be added and we all thought it was perfect. You can make the pie from scratch or purchase one.

Also, if you have an immediate ice cream craving and don’t want to take the time to cook ¬†and cool the ice cream, simply combine all the ingredients (making sure the cream and milk are thoroughly chilled – if you just bought it from the store, it won’t be cold enough) excluding the pie in the blender (or use beaters and a bowl) and combine well and pour into the ice cream maker. (If you don’t like eating raw eggs, you can leave the yolks out.) Freeze according to machine instructions and mix in pie at the end.

Don’t forget to check out my tips for using your automatic ice cream maker!

Oh my goodness! This homemade apple pie ice cream is incredible - all time favorite for our entire family. MUST make. (Plan for extra pie this Thanksgiving!)Plan to have extra apple pie after your Thanksgiving dinner this year, you won’t regret it!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Apple Pie Ice Cream
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ -1/2 cup honey (or ½-1 cup white sugar)
  • dash salt
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ of an apple pie
  1. Put dairy, honey, arrowroot powder, cinnamon and a dash of salt in a pan over low heat. Use a whisk to stir as mixture heats.
  2. Combine egg yolks and honey in a small bowl.
  3. Slowly add ½-1 cup of the of heated cream to the egg yolks (stirring constantly). Then slowly add the egg mixture to the pan of cream, whisking constantly.
  4. Heat the ice cream mixture gently until it thickens slightly. (Don't let it come to a boil.) It will take around 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
  6. As the ice cream mixture cools, stir it occasionally to keep a skim from forming on the top.
  7. Put ice cream into the refrigerator and chill at least 6 hours.
  8. Put mixture into ice cream maker and freeze according to your ice cream maker instructions.
  9. Chop apple pie into bite sized pieces and stir into the frozen ice cream.
  10. Serve immediately or put in freezer to have a more solid ice cream.
I used the ¼ cup of honey since the apple pie adds additional sweetness. If you like things sweeter, use the larger amount!


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Frozen Grapes The Easiest Snack Ever

Frozen Grapes! Such a genius idea and they make the easiest snack ever. Plus, they are Whole30 approved!

I can’t be the only one. I’m sure we’ve all had times we’ve tried to cut back on sweeteners (even honey and maple syrup). Other times wheat or dairy. ¬†We are in the middle of a Whole30¬†right now, so that means we are doing without all of those.

Sure, things like ice cream and popcorn aren’t a necessary part of our diets but sometimes I just want something cold and refreshing or a snack I can sit down in front of a movie with to munch on. Dried fruit, fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts. All great options but none really have that special snack edge that ice cream does. ūüôā

I remember discovering this super tasty way to eat grapes years ago when I was in high school and have used it every since. You need to try it! It might sound weird, but it’s sooo good and frozen grapes make the easiest snack ever. (Plus, they are Whole30 approved.)

Here’s your super easy instructions:

  1. When grapes go on sale, stock up! Buy pounds of them.
  2. Pick the grapes off the stem and place in a colander. Rinse well and then dump on a towel to dry.
  3. Then simply pour them onto rimmed baking sheets in a single layer and stick in the freezer.
  4. Once frozen, put in a zipped freezer bag and they’ll be sitting in the freezer waiting for you to fill up a bowl to munch on.

Unlike most fruit, you can eat these straight out of the freezer. No thawing necessary. They are the perfect texture. My husband says they taste like a slushy. ūüôā

What’s your favorite frozen fruit? Have you had frozen grapes before?

5.0 from 3 reviews
Frozen Grapes - The Easiest Snack Ever
  • Grapes
  1. Pick grapes off the stem and put in colander.
  2. Rinse well and pour onto a towel to dry.
  3. Put grapes on rimmed baking sheets in a single layer and place in the freezer.
  4. Once frozen (give it several hours), transfer to zipped storage bags or containers.
  5. Eat directly out of the freezer.


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Frozen Yogurt Pops

Frozen Yogurt Pops - Blueberry or orange from the 100 Days of Real Food Cookbook! They are so good!

Homemade Popsicles are a favorite in our house! They make the perfect sized afternoon snack (even breakfast at times) for my 3 year old. I typically don’t use a recipe, but instead just dump things in the blender and let it whirl away.

A couple weeks ago I talked about one of my new favorite cookbooks, 100 Days of Read Food (you can buy the book on Amazonaffiliate link). The post got long enough I didn’t have a chance to share one of the recipes I tried from it.

Frozen Yogurt Pops - Blueberry or orange from the 100 Days of Real Food Cookbook! They are so good!

My daughter chose what we would make first. She selected these Frozen Yogurt Pops. No Surprise considering she loves the color purple. She helped measure the ingredients, dump them in the blender, and hold the button down. Definitely an easy recipe for the young chef.

This is a snapshot of what a page looks like in the book (there is also a picture that goes with the recipe, such as the one on the top of this post):

Frozen Yogurt Pops - Blueberry or orange from the 100 Days of Real Food Cookbook! They are so good!

Of course we chose the purple option and used all blueberries since that’s what we had and decreased the maple syrup slightly. The half batch filled our 6 little blue Ikea popsicle molds.

The verdict? My daughter voted them a winner! She thoroughly enjoyed them.

Frozen Yogurt Pops - Orange Cream and Mixed Berry
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Orange Cream
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Mixed Berry
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • ½ cup maple syrup
For the Orange Cream:
  1. Whisk together all the ingredients in a bowl. Pour into popsicle molds and insert sticks. Freeze completely - 4-5 hours or overnight.
For the Mixed Berry:
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and insert sticks. Freeze completely - 4-5 hours or overnight.

What’s your favorite popsicle combination?

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Caramel Sauce

The easiest and richest caramel sauce ever! AND it's all real food. Can't beat that. Must try recipe. Perfect for ice cream too.

I love caramel. There is just something about the sugary, buttery combination that you can’t beat. Especially with a touch of salt and vanilla mixed in.

This caramel sauce would be the perfect finishing touch to so many different desserts. Apple crisp and pie. Drizzled over cheesecake (oh my goodness). It would make the perfect layer in caramel bars. Of course, there’s one other ¬†situation it would be ideal in. In case you missed it, I have a thing for ice cream. But these two items together and you have perfection.

I made the recipe several times now and we all love it and agree it takes desserts over the top. I love how easy it is and that I can make it in advance.

The coconut sugar gives such a deep and rich flavor that you won’t be able to beat. If you don’t have coconut sugar I’d try it with sucanat. (If you don’t have these sugars, I’m sure you could make it with regular brown sugar.)

(This recipe also works great if you cut it in half for when you are making it for a couple of people.)

The easiest and richest caramel sauce ever! AND it's all real food. Can't beat that. Must try recipe. Perfect for ice cream too.

Caramel Sauce
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup half and half (or heavy cream)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • salt
  1. Combine first three ingredients in a small sauce pan. Heat over medium heat until butter melts. When the mixture starts to bubble reduce heat to medium low and let cook for 6 minutes stirring frequently. (Keep the mixture bubbling the entire time. On my gas stove medium low is plenty hot. Adjust temperature if you need to.)
  2. After 6 minutes turn burner off and stir in vanilla and a pinch of salt.
  3. Serve warm or let cool.
  4. Mixture will thicken as it sits. If you want to serve it cool, stir in up to ¼ cup more half and half while it is still warm to get your desired consistency.

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Cinnamon Breadsticks


Easy, gooey, and delicious cinnamon breadsticks! | Mmmm. These are just as good as the ones from the pizza buffet I loved growing up.

Cinnamon breadsticks. So good and easy I don’t know why I’ve never made them before. Every time (don’t worry, it wasn’t too often) we went out to a pizza buffet restaurant growing up they were one of my favorites and I ate entirely too many of them.

I recently recreated this recipes and you can go over to The Best Blog Recipes for the post. I want to try making them again using whole wheat flour and sucanat or coconut sugar on the top.

We are in the middle of a month of being wheat free. I’m surprised it hasn’t been harder because I LOVE good homemade bread. Probably the worst times is putting together these recipes that I made before we began. They make me hungry. This is one of those. Looking at the picture of these things is torture. You’ll have to make them and enjoy them for me.

Recently (well,¬†over a month ago now)¬†I decided I needed to try making Cinnamon Breadsticks myself. Surely it’s not that hard. I already had a killer dough recipe from my garlic breadsticks to start with. I’d just need to switch up the topping and change how I formed the dough a bit. We had a friend over for dinner – always the best way to test our new recipes. They were a home run! The adults enjoyed them as much as the three year old. Or almost as much. We had to cut my daughter off. She kept wanting more.

Head over to The Best Blog Recipes to read the rest!

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