Coconut Cake with Raspberry Filling

Hello there– How’s your summer going??  We are melting here!  A couple days ago the weather AP said it was 109 degrees in our town!  Yikes!  So it’s lots of fizzy water and air conditioning on for us here.

All of which, has nothing to do with Coconut Cake!  But I’m just hoping you’re staying cool too.

Made this cake for dinner at Jeff & Betty’s on the 4th.  About 30 of us end up there every year for a grand pot luck and sitting in lawn chairs and listening to Jeff’s rousing patriotic playlist while we watch the city fireworks!!  It’s sweet & creamy & fruity.  Just right for cutting into with friends!


1 white cake mix
vegetable oil
3 eggs
1  1/2 cup coconut

Fosting & Filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
1 pound box powdered sugar (about 3 3/4 cups)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 coconut
garnish:  1 cup of raspberrries, camomile daisies & leaves

Make the cake according to the directions on the package.  Mine called for 1 cup water, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 3 eggs.  Beat the batter with an electric mixer for 2 minutes.  Then fold in the coconut with a spoon.

Pour the batter into three 9″ cake pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake them about 20 minutes, until they are lightly browned and firm to the touch.  Let the cakes cool completely before you add the frosting.

To make the frosting, use an electric mixer and beat together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla.  (Start the mixer on low or the powdered sugar will fly out of the bowl!)  Beat until it’s creamy.

Take out 1 cup of the frosting to another bowl.  Beat in 1/4 cup of the raspberries with the mixer to make the filling.

To put the cake together, set the first layer on a pretty plate and top with half of the filling. Then set the second layer on top and cover with the second half of the filling.  Top that with the third layer.

Spread the white frosting from the original bowl on the top and sides of the cake.  Then pat the coconut all over the sides and top of the cake.  (this is trickier than it sounds!)

Garnish with the leftover raspberries, daisies and leaves.  So pretty!


Hummingbird Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting

Hello all– How’s your weekend going??  I’m excited to say today is the first day in over a month that there is not a thing on our calendar!!  Larry headed over to Cal State for their tomato plant sale this morning and I’m going to dig into some heavy duty trip planning for our travels to Vancouver & Seattle in a couple weeks.  I may spend the whole day here on our couch!  So happy for the lazy quiet.

And I wanted to send out this recipe too for you all–  a southern specialty– a quick bread version of Hummingbird Cake.  Dense moist and flavorful from bananas, crushed pineapple, coconut and pecans!!  So many goodies tucked inside this sweet bread!


4 bananas, smashed
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2  1/2 flour
1  1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
8 oz. crushed pineapple, with the juice
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 to 3 tab. milk
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

In a large mixing bowl, smash the bananas with a fork.  Then stir in the oil, white sugar, brown sugar and eggs.  Next stir in the flour, baking powder and salt.  Finally stir in the vanilla, cinnamon pineapple, coconut and pecans.

Spoon the thick batter into two standard loaf pans (8″ x 4″) that have been sprayed with cooking spray.  Pop them into a 350 degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes until they are cooked through (test with a sharp knife to see if it comes out dry).  Let the bread cool before you add the frosting.

To make the frosting, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter, cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar.  Then add the milk 1 tablespoon at a time until it is the consistency that you like.

Drizzle the frosting over the cooled bread and sprinkle on the pecans.  Done. And delicious!

Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Topping

Hello there– It’s Larry’s birthday today!!  I’m 3 months older than him so now he can stop teasing me about my advanced age.  Our parents are coming for dinner– chicken & rice– and we’ll top it off with this hearty cake.  Happy Birthday dear Larry!!


1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup canola oil
1  1/2 cups grated carrot (about 3 carrots)
2 eggs

1/2 cup evaporated milk
2/3 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup butter (2/3 of a stick)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups pecan, coarsely chopped

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Then mix in the oil, grated carrot and eggs.

Spoon the stiff batter into a 9″ cake pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  And pop it into a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes, until a small knife inserted comes out clean.  Let the cake cool.

To make the topping, stir together the milk, 2/3 cup sugar, egg yolks, butter and vanilla in a sauce pan.

Then put the pan over medium heat, bring to a simmer and stir until the mixture thickens (2 or 3 minutes).  the stir in the coconut and pecans.  Let it set a few minutes to cool and then heap it onto the cake.

P.S. This is an OLD post– Larry’s birthday is in August!!  But I saved it and the cake was lovely, so I’m passing it along.  Better late than never!!

Pecan Coconut Banana Bread

Hello baking friends–  I’ve already posted more than my share of banana bread recipes on this blog.  Blame it on too many over ripe bananas collecting in my kitchen.  But honestly, this one must be the best!  All that coconut and those pecans!

Made it with my baking buddy, Jenna, and we downed it with mugs of tea at the kitchen table and agreed it was delicious.  Hope you give it a try…


6 tab. flour
6 tab. brown sugar
1/4 cup (4 tab.) butter
1/4 cup coconut
1/4 cup pecans, chopped

2 bananas
1/2 cup unflavored yogurt
3 tab. canola oil
1 egg
1  1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp, baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Melt the butter in the microwave.  Then in a small mixing bowl stir together the 6 tab. flour, brown sugar, butter, 1/4 cup coconut and 1/4 cup chopped pecans.  Set aside.

In a larger mixing bowl, smash the bananas with a fork. Then stir in the yogurt, oil and egg.  Next mix in the 1 1/3 cup flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, 1/2 cup pecans and 1/2 cup shredded coconut.  Mix just until it is all blended.

Spoon the batter in to a 9″x 5″ loaf pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray (I used two smaller half size pans).  Put it into a 350 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes until it’s gold brown and a knife inserted comes out clean.

Muesli (with yogurt & cherries)

Hi friends– The first time I met muesli was on a road trip with our kids years ago when we lived in Spain.  Some friends in Austria offered to let us stay in their apartment while they were away– as long as we would feed their rabbit and feel free to help ourselves to anything.  That’s where we found the muesli– in their kitchen cupboard!  And loved it from the start.

So here’s my current version, sweetened with maple syrup and full of lovely crunch.  With yogurt and summer cherries, it’s perfect!

3 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup sliced almonds
2/3 cup coconut
2 tab. sesame seeds
3 tab. olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp. sea salt*
also– serve with yogurt & fruit (like cherries!)

Stir together all the ingredients in a mixing bowl until the oats are thoroughly coasted.  Spread the muesli evenly onto two baking sheets that have been lined with foil.

Bake the muesli at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, taking it out mid-way to stir it up and spread it back out over the pans.  Let it cool and then heap it onto a bowl of yogurt & fruit!

Pina Colada Cake with Rum Cream Cheese Frosting


Hi there–  I have to say when we pull out a cake fro friends after a big long meal, most people say– “oh oh, just the tiniest slice” or they might even skip dessert.  But this cake almost disappeared!  People took big slabs and then asked for more!  I had one ragged piece left to send you off a picture a slice.  They liked it! I think you would too…



1 white cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
2 tab. rum
1 cup shredded coconut

Toasted Coconut:
2 cups shredded coconut

Pineapple Filling:
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. conrstarch
14 oz. can crushed pineapple

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound box powdered sugar (3  3/4 cups)
2 tab. rum
garnish: stemmed cherry!



Mix the cake mix according to the directions on the package (mine used 1 cup water, 1/2 cup oil & 3 eggs).  Then stir in the rum and 1 cup shredded coconut.

Spoon the batter into three 8″ cake pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes until it is firm to the touch.   Let the cake layers cool completely before you frost them.

While the cake is baking, spread the 2 cups of coconut on a baking sheet that has been lined with foil (for easy clean up) and put it in the oven along with the cake.  Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every couple minutes until half of the coconut has started to brown (be careful, it’s easy to burn coconut!)

To make the pineapple filling,  combine the sugar and cornstarch in the small sauce pan.  Stir them together until there are no cornstarch lumps.  Then dump in the crushed pineapple and stir on medium heat until it simmer for a 1 or 2 minutes and thickens.   Set aside to cool.

To make the frosting, Put the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and rum into a mixing bowl and beat it with an electric mixer until it is smooth and creamy.  If it seems too dry, add another tablespoon of water.  (Be careful, it’s easy to add too much water and it turns to mush!)

To put it all together, set one cake layer on a plate and top with half of the pineapple filling.  Add the second layer and pile on the rest of the filling. Next set on the 3rd layer.

Then frost the cake top and sides with the cream cheese frosting.  Pat the toasted coconut around the sides of the cake (this is a little trickier than it sounds– be persistent!)  And pop the cherry on top.  It’s ready to serve!!


Chocolate Samoa Cake



Hey friends– This cake gets it’s name from those Girl Scout cookies– the ones with the coconut & caramel & chocolate.  Know what I mean??  Delish!

I made it for our young adults group that comes in on Thursdays.  And I liked it so much, that I made it again on Saturday for dinner with friends!  (so I’ve been nibbling on leftovers all week…)   I think you would like it too…


1 chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup oil
1 cup water
3 eggs

1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup caramel sauce*

2  1/2 cups coconut
1/2 cup caramel sauce*
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon canola oil



Mix the cake mix up according to the instructions on the package.  Mine called for water, 1/2 cup oil and 3 eggs.  Pour the batter into a 3″ x13″ baking dish –or a large 10″ cake pan.**  Bake the cake 25 to 30 minutes until it is firm to the touch.

While the cake is cooking, line a baking sheet with foil (for easier clean up) and sprinkle the 2 1/2 cups coconut evenly over the foil.  Put it in the oven with the cake and let it cook for 10 to 12 minutes, taking it out and stirring the coconut every 3 or 4 minutes so it does not burn.  (be careful, this coconut can burn easily!) When half of the coconut is still white, but crispy and the other half is light brown, it’s ready.

Let the cake cool and then with the handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over the cake.

Mix together the frosting ingredients– the melted butter, 1/4 cup milk, powdered sugar, vanilla and 1/4 cup caramel sauce.  Pour them carefully over the cake, smoothing it with a spatula to get the frosting partially down into the holes in the cake.

Then spread the coconut over the top of the frosting.  Put the chocolate chips and oil in a glass bowl and microwave them about 120 seconds, until the chocolate chips are soft enough to stir into a smooth melty mess.  Alternately drizzle the chocolate and 1/2 cup caramel sauce over the coconut layer.  Done.

*You can make your own caramel sauce, but I use store bought
**I like to use my largest spring form pan -about 10  1/2″- because it’s easy to get the cake out onto a pretty plate to serve it.


Coconut Peanut Butter Brownies


Hello bog friends– Been crazy days around here.  End of school, birthdays, showers, I’ve barely had time to cook up something to send along to you.  Been eating a lot of cobbled together dinners, completely unblogable.  But Saturday night I was asked to bring a dessert to an evening with friends and here it is…

I love brownies, hands down– and peanut butter– and coconut macaroons.  But all together???   Well, I gave it a try and these were really luscious.  It takes a few bowls, bouts of mixing, but these sweet things are definitely worth it!  Hope you give them a try too…



Brownie mix for a 8×8″ pan.

Peanut Butter layer:
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tab. milk
2 tab. yogurt

Coconut layer:
1 large egg white
2 cups shredded coconut
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt


Make the brownie according to the directions on the box.  Spread the batter into a 8″ square or 9″ round pan* that has been sprayed with cooking spray and put it into a 350 degree over for 25 minutes.

Take out the brownie ayer and let it cook for a few minutes, while you mix up the other layers.

To make the peanut butter layer, use an electric mixer to beat together the peanut butter, cream cheese, sugar and egg.  Then mix in the milk and yogurt.  Set this aside.

To make the coconut layer, beat the egg white several minutes until stiff peaks form –works well if you have a whisk attachment on your electric mixer.  Set that aside.  In another bowl stir together the coconut, condensed milk, vanilla and salt.  Then gently fold in the egg whites until it’s all blended.

Then pour the peanut butter layer over the brownie layer in the pan.  And gently drop small spoonfuls of the coconut mixture over the peanut butter layer until it’s all covered.  Put it all back into the oven for another 25 to 30 minutes, until the top layers are set and firm.  (if the coconut starts to brown before the baking is finished, cover the pan with foil.

Take it out of the oven, and here’s the hard part.  Let it cool for an hour for the brownies to firm up before you cut them into tidy pieces to serve.


Coconut Cupcakes


Hello all– Cupcakes.  They’re the old stand by around here.  The nice way to have 24 little pieces of cake that are easy to serve, easy to eat for a crowd in the house.  These are from last Thursday when we have our weekly group of 20 & 30 somethings come in for the evening.  It’s fun for us to hang out with all those bright lively people and happily, they like coffee and cupcakes.  So it all works out…


1 white cake mix
1 cup water
1/3 cup canola oil
3 eggs
1  1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pound box powdered sugar (about 3  3/4 cups)
2 to 3 tab. milk
extra shredded coconut to scatter over the tops


This is easy.  Make the cake mix according to the package directions.  My mix used 1 cup water, 1/3 cup oil and 3 eggs.  After you beat the batter with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, stir in the 1  1/2 cup coconut.

Spoon the batter into cupcake pans that have been lined with muffin papers.  Should make about 24 cupcakes.  And pop them into a 350 degree oven for 15 to 17 minutes until they are golden and firm to the touch.  Let them cool.

For the frosting, with an electric mixer, beat together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla.  Then slowly beat in the powdered sugar and milk.  When it’s all combined into a smooth frosting, spread it generously over the cupcakes and immediately sprinkle on the coconut over the top while the frosting is still moist so it will stick.

That’s it.  Make coffee. Invite friends.  And eat.


Coconut Milk Lime Bread


Hello all– Just when I thought I had come to the end of all the possible variations of quick breads, I ran across this coconut-lime version, that is bright and citrusy and fresh.  It pairs up well with mugs of tea and an engaging book to read…  Hope you try it.

For the bread:
1/2 cup sugar
6 tab. canola oil*
2 eggs
1 cup canned coconut milk
1 tab. lime zest (about 2 limes)
1  1/2 cup flour
1  1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup shredded coconut

For the glaze/topping:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tab. lime juice
more coconut for garnish**


In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs and coconut milk.  Then stir in the flour, baking powder, salt and 1/2 cup shredded coconut.

Scrape the batter into one standard (or 2 small) loaf pans that have ben sprayed with cooking spray.  Pop it into a 350 degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes until firm and a small life inserted comes out clean.

Let the bread cool for 15 minutes and then remove from the pan.  Whisk together the powdered sugar and lime juice and drizzle it over the bread. And then immediately sprinkle on some coconut for garnish– quickly so it will stick to the glaze while it’s still wet.

Bright and fresh– best served to friends with mugs of tea.

*The recipe I worked from called for coconut oil.  I just used what I had–canola oil.  But if you have coconut oil in your well stocked kitchen, give it a try!!
**For the coconut on top I used big unsweetened coconut flakes (from Sprouts if you live in CA).  But for mixing in with the batter, just used regular shredded coconut (which would be just as pretty on top as well!)


Coconut Topped Pineapple Cake

IMG_3220Hi all– I sure like this friendly old fashioned cake.  It tastes a lot like a cake my mom would make that involved a can of fruit cocktail– if you’re unfamamiliar– fruit cocktail is a thoroughly alcohol free mixture of cut fruit in a can.

But this little cake is chocked full of crushed pineapple and topped with the kind of coconut topping you usually find on German chocolate cake.  It’s super moist and a little dense –fruity good.

I baked it up for teacher goodie day at school– Students  sometimes wonder what goes on in the kid free “teachers’ room.”  The truth is it’s pretty dull in there, just a lot of grading papers and lesson talk…  But Fridays!  Well, Fridays there is a table well stocked with treats.  And this was my recent contribution.  I think it gets an A+!


2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
20 oz. can crushed pineapple, undrained

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 1/4 cup coconut
1 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 tsp. vanilla

IMG_3231To make the cake stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Then mix in the eggs, vanilla and crushed pineapple with the juice.

Scape the batter into a 9″x13″ baking dish (or an 11″ spring form pan) that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Put it into a 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes until the cake is lightly browned around the edges and firm to the touch.

To make the topping, drop the 1 cup sugar, butter and evaporated milk into a heavy sauce pan and bring to a boil and reduce heat and stir for about 5 minutes while it simmers on low– just until the mixture thickens.

Stir in the coconut, nuts and vanilla and pour the topping over the warm cake.  Delicious eaten warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!


Christmas Seven Layer Bars


IMG_1776Hello all–  These are my problem cookies!  First of all, they just don’t make a pretty photo so you have no idea how yummy they really are.  And secondly, I have a pan-full in my fridge and just about every single time (which is often) I walk into my kitchen, I stop and eat just one!  If I weigh 15 pounds more by New Years it’s the fault of these cookies (or could the fault be my lack of self control??)

So these are really just those 7 layer magic bars you’ve seen a thousand times, but in a Christmas-y disguise.  They’re not exactly fine baking– but if you like white chocolate (and I do), they are pretty scrumptious.  Love the cranberry and the orange peel is the perfect foil to all that sweetness.  Merry Christmas!

1  1/2 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs (1 pack–9 crackers)
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups white chocolate chips (12 oz. bag)
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup dried cherries or dried cranberries
2 tab. grated orange peel (about 1 orange)
1 cup pecans, chopped
14 oz. can condensed milk

Stir together the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter.  Press the mixture into a 9″x13″ baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Then layer on the white chocolate chips, coconut, cranberries, pecans and orange peel.  Drizzle the condensed milk evenly over the whole baking dish. Smoosh it down with the back of a spoon.

Pop it into the oven at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, just until the edges start to brown (keep an eye on it!)  Let it all cool before you cut nice neat little squares.

P.S. Store the leftovers in a storage container in a single layer in the fridge.

Chocolate Chip Dump Cookies


Hi all– with a “glamorous” name like that, these cookies are bound to be good.  The dump part pretty much describes them.  You open your kitchen cupboard, pull out all the goodies you can locate  and throw them into the batter.

They’re  rather homely, downright lumpy to look at, but on closer examination (with your mouth!), you find they are exquisite– salty, sweet, crunchy, nutty and of course, chocolatey.  I think you’d like them just fine.

1 cup of butter (2 sticks), room temperature
1  1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tab. vanilla
1  1/2 cup flour
1 cup whole oats (oatmeal)
1/2 cup granola
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup walnuts (or pecans), chopped
2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried apricots, but to small bits

With an electric mixer, in a large bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until creamy.

Throw in the flour, oats, granola, baking powder and sugar and keep beating until it’s all mixed.

Then beat in the coconut, nuts, chocolate chips, cranberries and apricots until it’s all thoroughly blended.

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  And pop the cookies into a 350 degree oven for 13 to 15 minutes, until they are beautifully browned.

Be sure to eat one while they are still hot from the oven (the best!)


German Chocolate Tart

IMG_3362Hello there– It’s been a festive week– How many Christmas dinners can you consume before you explode?  I wonder.  And tonight we were sitting around the table with friends from school– food, fun and friends– It’s a good thing to work with people like them.  My contribution to the meal was this little tart– chocolatey and studded with nuts and coconut. Sweet end to the meal together.

1 pie crust*
1/2 cup butter
1  1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)**
1 cup shredded coconut

IMG_3351Spread the pie crust into a tart pan.

In the microwave melt the butter and then pour in the chocolate chips and microwave it for 15 seconds more.  Stir it all til it’s blended.  Set it aside.

In another bowl, mix together the flour, and 2 sugars.  Stir in the chocolate mixture.  Then fold in the 2 beaten eggs and the vanilla.  Finally stir in the nuts and coconut.

Spoon the chocolate batter into the pie crust and bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.  (do not over bake please!)

Serve it nice and warm (or room temp) with with piles of whipped cream on a pretty plate.

*I used a Pillsbury pre made pie crust because I was in a rush.  But you can make your own  to make it even better.
** You can use pecans or walnuts– the recipe I worked from called for pecans, a bit sweeter, but I like walnuts, because the tart is plenty sweet and walnuts have more texture to them for a little crunch.   They’d both work just fine.


Coconut Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_8889Hi there–My grand-buddy (aka grand daughter) Maryann and I are good kitchen partners.  She’s usually happy to pull up a chair to the counter and mix and pour…  And she wants to dip her finger into every ingredient to give it a taste as we dump it into the mixing bowl– actually thinks flour is “yummy!”  I think we have a future cook on our hands…

So when I found this recipe from a favorite blog CookiesCakesPiesOhMy I knew Maryann and I should hit the kitchen.  Here’s what we made:

3/4 cup butter (1  1/2 sticks)*
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla
3 tab. sour cream
2 cups flour
1 tab. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cups chocolate chips**
1 cup pecans
1 cup shredded coconut

With an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugars, egg, vanilla and sour cream.  Then mix in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.  Finally continue mixing in the chocolate chips, pecans and shredded coconut.

Drop the dough by spoonfuls onto cookie sheets sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake them at 325 degrees for 14-16 minutes.  Makes 3 dozen smallish cookies.***

*If the butter is cold straight from the fridge, microwave it for a few seconds to soften it up.
**Kristen’s original recipe called for dark chocolate chips or chunks.  I think that would make them even yummier, but we just had plain old chocolate chips and used them for our impromptu Sunday afternoon baking.
*** Kristen posted the recipe for 14 large cookies–and we made them small– make them just the size you like.

IMG_8866     IMG_8870

Lazy Day Oatmeal Cake

IMG_7956Hello Cake Lovers–   A couple weeks ago our Lit Group went to a newish place in town for dinner and a lot of book talk.  It was “Sue Ann’s Kitchen” and you’d think you had stepped right back into the 1950’s– decorated mid century kitchen “artifacts” including a vintage double oven built in to the wall and a line up of old wooden rolling pins above a doorway.  The menu featured meat loaf and homemade apple sauce and cakes, lot of cakes.

So when I saw this recipe later with this thoroughly 1950’s title– I couldn’t wait for a little more cake nostalgia.  It tastes like something I remember eating when I was ten.  If you like good old fashioned cake–this might be just what you’re looking for…


1 cup oats
1  1/4 cup boiling water
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1  1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tab. milk or cream
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts

Put the oats in a heat proof bowl and cover them with the boiling water.  Let the whole thing sit for 20 minutes. Then mix in  the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla.  And next, stir in the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

Scrape the batter into a 9″ square or round baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray and pop it all into the oven for 35 to 40 minutes.  Until the cake is firm to the touch.

While that’s baking mash together the butter, brown sugar and milk with a fork.  Then work in the coconut and nuts til it’s all bended.

Spread the topping over the cake warm from the oven and then put it under the broiler on the lower rack fro just 3 or 4 minutes until it just starts to toast the coconut.  Keep your eye on it–so easy to burn!


IMG_7659Hello friends– Here are some nubbly little cookies that start with hearty oats, but quickly fill up with extra little goodies– apricots, chocolate and coconut.

They are the kind of little bars a grandma should have around the house when the grand-girls arrive,  wait!! —like mine who are coming from China end of the month!!  I’m jumping up and down.  Can you feel the vibrations of my computer as you read?

But back to the cookie bars, they’re fast and easy and just sweet enough to satisfy.  I think you’ll like as much as I’m hoping Charlotte, Maryann and Josie do…

1 cup oatmeal
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup dried apricots, chopped to smallish bits
2/3 cup coconut
2/3 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup canola oil (or melted butter, if you prefer!)
2 eggs
3 tab. milk

In a mixing bowl stir together the oatmeal, flour, baking powder and salt.  Then add in the “goodies”–apricots, coconut, chocolate chips, sugars.  Finally add the wet ingredients–oil, eggs and milk.  Mix is tip blended and spoon it into a 7″x11″ pan sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake it at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, until a knife inserted into the cookie bars comes out clean.  Cut them into tidy little squares and enjoy!

Sour Cream Coconut Banana Bread

IMG_6601Hi all–  I bought bananas.  Went to the store later in the week and bought bananas again, not even thinking.  So many bananas!  There was only one thing to do.  Banana bread.  My favorite form of eating bananas.  This one adds some coconut and a jolly cup of walnuts.  And my favorite part is the coconut on top that gets browned and crunchy–perfect.   Oh, and the super moist banana flavor inside.  I think you’ll love seeing it sit on your kitchen counter, ready to be eaten, too!

3 ripe medium bananas
2 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup walnuts chopped
1/2 cup coconut, plus more for sprinkling on top of the loaf.

Smoosh the bananas in the bottom of a mixing bowl with a fork until they are creamy.  Then mix in the eggs, sour cream, sugar, oil and vanilla.  Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix it all up just until it’s completely blended.  Finally fold in the chopped nuts and 1/2 cup coconut.

Spoon the mixture into a standard loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Top it with a healthy sprinkling of coconut and pop it into the oven at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes until the coconut is nicely browned and the bread is firm to the touch.  Enjoy!

Coconut Apricot Muffins


Good morning all!  Who wouldn’t want to start the day with these tender muffins, full of fruit and sweet coconut?

I don’t know about you, but I have this “magic” list of ingredients that always catch my eye when I’m looking at recipes–  chocolate (of course), almonds, pumpkin, olives, apricots.  Oh yes, apricots–especially now when they are rosy and ripe. So these apricot-y muffins hit the spot with my morning mug of tea.  Hope you like them…

6 apricots
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup coconut, plus a bit more to sprinkle on top

Remove the seeds and cut the apricots into small bits.  Stir together the egg, milk and oil.  Then mix in the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Finally, fold in the apricots and 1/2 cup coconut.  Spoon the batter into muffin papers and sprinkle a pinch of coconut onto the top of each muffin.  Bake them at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until they are firm to the touch and coconut just starts to brown on top.  Make 12 to 15 muffins.


Caramel Coconut Brownies

IMG_1278Hello there–  We had friends for dinner last night out under the maple trees out in the yard.  Seemed like the first night of summer talking through the evening.  But when they all finally wandered home, I still needed to bake up something for “goodie day” at my school.  (Teachers are notorious goodie aficionados).  This recipe takes 10 minutes to drop in the oven (thanks to a box brownie mix*),  but looks like it took you a good long while.  Perfect for late night, want to get in bed baking…

1 large brownie mix (size for a 9″x 13″ pan)
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup water
1 more egg
1 cup caramel ice cream topping
2 cups coconut
1 cup slices toasted almonds**

Make up the brownies according to the directions on the box (this particular box called for 2 eggs and 1/3 cup oil & 1/3 cup water).  Scrape the batter into a 9″x 13″ pan sprayed with cooking spray.  In another bowl, whisk the egg til it’s fluffy.  Then stir in the caramel, coconut and almonds.  Carefully spoon it over the brownie batter.  Bake it all up at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Let it cool a bit before you cut into it– so the brownies and topping will set up.  Yummm.

*Brownie mixes, I love them.  I do make a couple favorite brownies that are better made from scratch, but for your “I just need that rich chocolate layer and am in a hurry kind of brownie,” I think mixes are the best.

**sliced toasted almonds bagged up and ready to go at Trader Joe’s