Fresh Strawberry Ginger Shortcake

Fresh Strawberry Ginger Shortcake

Our favorite summer dessert with a spicy ginger twist. This biscuit version is surprisingly simple to make – sweet and crunchy then topped with sweetened macerated berries and freshly whipped cream.

Strawberries With Ginger Shortcakes

1 quart farm fresh strawberries
2 tablespoons mint simple syrup or sugar
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for dusting
cup sugar
2 teaspoons freshly ground dried ginger
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup cold buttermilk
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cream
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon sour cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract



Slice the larger berries into quarters or halves, keeping the smaller ones whole, and place in a large bowl. Gently toss with the mint syrup or sugar; set aside.

Preheat oven to 425˚F. In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, ginger, baking powder, and salt; process until mixture is combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With the processor running add the buttermilk; then pulse just until moistened, 4 or 5 times. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface; with floured hands, gently pat dough into a circle. Cut as many as possible with a round large biscuit cutter, then pat the remaining dough together and continue cutting until you have used all the dough. Transfer the rounds to a parchment lined baking sheet; brush the tops with the 2 tablespoons of cream and sprinkle the tops with the turbinado sugar. Place in the oven and bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes; cool on baking sheet.

Whisk the whipped cream with the sour cream. Add the powdered sugar and the vanilla. Whip until soft peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve, split biscuits with a serrated knife. Top with the berries and fresh whipped cream. Makes 8-10 servings.

Strawberry Cake With Strawberry Sauce

Strawberry Cake With Strawberry Sauce

This elegant and easy Strawberry Cake has a soft and moist crumb bursting with fresh strawberry flavor in a pool of strawberry.  It’s the perfect gift for Mom.


Strawberry cake
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
1 extra large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound strawberries, stems removed, cut in halves


Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line an 8” square baking pan with one large parchment sheet in the bottom and up two sides. Butter and flour the pan and parchment.


Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl.  Add butter and 1 cup sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg, buttermilk, and vanilla to a small bowl and whisk together. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the egg/buttermilk mixture. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Transfer the batter to the ban. Arrange strawberries on top of batter, cut sides down and as close together as possible. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the berries. 


Place the cake in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake until cake is golden brown about 45-50 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes. Using the parchment remove the cake and place on a wire rack. Cool completely.


Strawberry Sauce
1 pound strawberries
½  cup simple syrup



Add the strawberries and simple syrup to a high-speed blender. Process until smooth.



Whipped Cream


Add sauce to cover the bottom of the bowl. Cut the cake into 16 pieces. Add one piece of cake over the sauce and whipped cream on the side.

Birds’ Nest Lemon Cheesecake

Birds’ Nest Lemon Cheesecake

Greet spring in a cheerful manner at any holiday celebration with these cute birds’ nest lemon cheesecake trifles. Using a no-bake recipe, the lemon cheesecake is a yummy whipped mixture of lemon curd and mascarpone.  The “nest” is made with thinly slice phyllo dough, topped with cinnamon/sugar and the base is shortbread crumbles. If you need to cut some time, you can always use high-quality store-purchased shortbread cookies.


Phyllo Dough Nest

6 sheets of phyllo dough
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter


Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet tray. Cut 6 sheets of phyllo dough in half to make 12 shorter sheets. Roll together tightly and very thinly slice into long thin pieces then transfer to a baking sheet carefully separating the layers. Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle with butter, then with cinnamon sugar. Bake until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and cool completely.


Shortbread Crumbs

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for the pan
½ cup plus two tablespoons granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon vanilla
6 glass serving cups


Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter an 8×8” pan. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes. Fold in flour and vanilla and blend until a soft dough forms. Press into the 8” x 8” pan and bake until light brown, about 40 minutes; remove and cool completely. Crumble then divide equally among the cups and press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the cups.


Lemon Cream Cheese Layers

8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
¾ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
2½ cups cold heavy cream
1 cup homemade or store-bought lemon curd
Candy bird eggs


Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat mascarpone, powdered sugar, and lemon zest in a large bowl until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the cream. When combined, increase the speed to medium and beat until medium peaks form. Transfer half of mascarpone mixture to another bowl. Add the lemon curd to the remaining half and beat in until combined.

Dividing the mixtures evenly, layer the lemon curd mixture over the shortbread crumbs in each cup followed by the plain mascarpone /cream mixture. Smooth the top, cover, and refrigerate for at least two hours and up until 24.

When ready to serve, form a nest in the top of each cup using the shorter pieces of cinnamon phyllo in the center and longer on the outside. Add the candy eggs into the center of the nest and serve immediately.

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

Rhubarb is back and we couldn’t be happier. This upside down cake has cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger tossed together with rhubarb before baking under a tasty lemon cake. Serve warm and topped with fresh whipped cream for a sweet spring dessert.

1 pound fresh rhubarb stalks, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 ½ cups granulated sugar, divided
2 teaspoons cornstarch
½  teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ cup butter, plus more for the pan, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan, divided
1 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼  teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Whipped cream for serving


Line a 9-inch springform pan base with parchment. Butter and flour the pan sides and the parchment. Combine the rhubarb, ½ cup granulated sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and cornstarch in a bowl. Toss to coat; set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.

Whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.

In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the remaining ½ cup butter, lemon zest, and the granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing just until incorporated then add the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately in 3 batches, mixing at low speed after each addition until just combined.

Arrange coated rhubarb pieces in a single layer on the buttered parchment in pan, sprinkle over any excess sugar from bowl. Pour the batter into pan then smooth with a spatula. Gently drop the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350°F until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Rest for fifteen minutes then remove the ring from the springform pan. Immediately place a cooling rack on the top of the cake and flip over. Place the cooling rack over foil to collect any dripping sugar syrup. Cool completely and serve warm with whipped cream.


Peanut Butter Cup Brownies with Peanut Buttercream Icing

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies with Peanut Buttercream Icing

These cute little individual brownies are baked with a peanut butter cup in the center, then topped with peanut butter icing. Their portability makes them perfect for both indoor and outdoor spring events.

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

1½  sticks butter, plus extra to butter pans
7 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 extra large eggs
¾  cups dark brown sugar, packed
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1½ tablespoons light corn syrup
½ tablespoon pure vanilla extract
¼  teaspoon kosher salt
¾  cup spooned and leveled bleached all-purpose flour
15 peanut butter cups
Peanut Buttercream Icing (recipe below)


Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter 15 of the cups in two 12-cup square brownie pans.

Place 1 ½ cups of butter around the edges of a microwave-safe glass bowl. Add the chocolate chips to the center. Melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave on highest power for 1 minute, stirring at least once, and then in 30 second increments, stirring one time in the middle of each one, until the chocolate is almost melted. Remove and stir until completely melted. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until the whites and yolk are just blended. Stir into the eggs the brown sugar, confectioners’ sugar, granulated sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt; mix until combined. Add the cooled chocolate mixture, stirring until completely incorporated. Stir in the flour to completely incorporate.

Add a tablespoon of batter to each buttered cup in the brownie pan. Place a peanut butter cup over the batter. Cover with remaining batter until the cups of the pan are 3/4 full.

Place the pans in the oven and bake until brownies just begin to pull away from the edge of the pan, about 18 – 20 minutes. It’s better to undercook rather than risk drying out the brownies.

Let cool completely in the pans on a rack. Place the cooled pans in the refrigerator for one hour to set the chocolate cups. Carefully remove the brownies from the pan using a thin spatula. Wrap the brownies well with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.


Peanut Buttercream Icing

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk, more if needed


In a bowl, combine the butter, peanut butter, and salt using a stand or hand mixer. Add the powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk, combine and then add the second tablespoon. Mix to a smooth, but still stiff consistency, adding any additional milk if needed. Use a piping bag or a spoon, top the cooled brownies an hour before serving.

Banana Meringue Cookies

Banana Meringue Cookies

Using only 5 ingredients, meringue cookies are some of the simplest to create. Egg whites are whipped to stiff peaks then dropped or piped onto cookie sheets and baked at a low temperature to dry to a crunchy delight. If you don’t like banana, you can substitute your favorite flavor extract.

4 egg whites
¼  teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon banana extract
1-1/2 cup fine* white sugar

Preheat oven to 200˚F. Add pieces of parchment paper to cover two baking sheets.

Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites, salt, cream of tartar, and banana extract until firm. Slowly add sugar in a stream while beating into the egg white mixture.

Drop or pipe by onto the parchment lined sheet trays to make 15 cookies per sheet. Bake for 2 hours. Turn the oven off and leave the cookies in the oven to cool, 2 hours or up to overnight, to dry. Makes 30 cookies.

*process the sugar in a food processor for 1-2 minutes until ground fine.