Cup of Cocoa Christmas Cake

Cup of Cocoa Cake, Hot Chocolate Cake, Checkerboard Cake, Christmas Cake
If you know me, then you know I love Christmas, and I always look forward to making an extravagant Christmas-themed cake every year.  Doesn't this cake make you want to go make yourself a cup of hot chocolate and some popcorn, snuggle under a blanket, and watch a Christmas movie?

And since I've had quite a few new email subscribers over the past few months, I've also rounded up some of my favorite Christmas posts from the last couple of years, so settle in with your morning coffee or hot chocolate, and as always, thank you for following along!

Croissant Bread Pudding with Maple Creme Anglaise

Croissant Bread Pudding with Maple Creme AnglaiseBread pudding is one of those desserts that I never really crave, but my husband likes it, and if he orders it at a restaurant, I'll sneak a bite or two.  And after making it for him now and then at home, I've decided that croissants make the absolute best bread pudding.  They're light and flaky, so the baked pudding isn't too heavy like some thicker breads can be after soaking in the custard.

Classic Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie, Thanksgiving, Holiday Baking, RecipeThanksgiving evening, with a mouthful of flaky pie crust filled with crunchy, caramelly toasted pecan goodness topped with vanilla bean ice cream, I realized that, inexplicably, I had never shared my recipe for pecan pie on here.  There have been pecan pies with chocolate, and others with bourbon, but never the classic version of pecan pie that I truly prefer...

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cake

Pumpkin Cake, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Pumpkin Bundt Cake, Thanksgiving CenterpieceHappy Thanksgiving week, everyone!  I start this week with a grateful heart for the wonderful life I share with my husband and our little boy.  Our life together is everything I've ever wanted and more, and I'm thankful every day that he chose me, that he shows me how much he loves me through all the things he does for me and our son.

We won't be having a big family dinner this year - although we'll still make all the traditional favorites, because Thanksgiving dinner leftovers are one of the good things in life.  My husband dry-brines the turkey, which gives it the most beautiful golden brown crispy skin, and he also makes amazing creamy scalloped potatoes.  And on Wednesday, I'll start the prep-work on all the other dishes...

Funfetti Cake

Funfetti Cake, Oh Boy, Baby Announcement, Baby Boy, Gender RevealWhen I want to say something, I like to say it with cake.  Whether that's to say I love you, or I'm happy for you, or let's celebrate you today, cake has always been, and will always be the way I love to commemorate a day or event or holiday.  It's fun to eat, of course - I mean, that's a given - but also so beautiful to look at, and so much fun to decorate.

And today's cake has a special announcement to make, which is definitely worthy of celebrating...

Phoenix's First Birthday

Birthday Party, First Birthday, Doughnut Cake, Smash Cake, Breakfast Cookies, Boy's BirthdayI think I started planning my baby's first birthday party when he was just a few weeks old, and now, here we are, a year later, and I can hardly believe how fast he's grown.  Becoming a parent has been a wonderful, frustrating, exhausting and amazing experience, and I can't imagine our lives without him.

We invited a few friends over to celebrate with us last weekend, and the breakfast theme for the party made for some yummy food...

Chocolate White Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Chocolate White Chocolate Sandwich CookiesIt's been more and more autumn-like here, with cold, rainy weather all weekend; we actually turned the pilot light in our fireplace on over the weekend so we could enjoy a fire.  Tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, a warm fire, French toast, cozy pajamas, popcorn, cookies, and my husband and little boy playing and laughing on the living room rug made for the most perfect weekend...