Cranberry Orange Cake

cranberry cake

Now that Thanksgiving is over it is time to dive head first into the Holiday season! But it is kind of hard when you still have a fridge full of Thanksgiving leftovers! There are thousands of recipes out there for the perfect recipe to use up left over mashed potatoes, turkey, and even stuffing. But what about the cranberry sauce? For some reason in my home, that is the one item that never gets completely eaten. That was until yesterday of course, when I stuffed it into a glorious buttery orange cake.

Leftover Cranberry Sauce Orange Cake

This cake has the perfect balance of winter flavors. The tart cranberries, warm cinnamon (usually in the cranberry sauce), and fresh orange zest make up the perfect slice for a cold evening by the fire. It is also a great cake to take to one of your 15 holiday parties that you will probably be invited to in the next 3 weeks. Seriously, this is a crazy busy time of year!!!!

cranberry cake 3

This cake recipe is my favorite cake recipe of all time. It turns out perfect every time no matter what changes I make to it! It is not overly sweet and has a wonderful butter flavor. I use my favorite Plugrá European Style Butter for its extra creaminess and moisture that it adds to the cake. The frosting is a simple buttercream, again made with favorite butter, and a touch of orange zest.

cranberry cake 2

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a beautiful holiday season with friends and family! Enjoy!

This is the perfect dessert to use up that leftover holiday cranberry sauce!

  • Cake:
  • 1 cup Plugrá unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk with a splash of white vinegar)
  • Frosting:
  • 1 1/2 cups Plugrá unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 - 4 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cup cranberry sauce

reheat oven to 350 degrees. Make sure all your ingredients are room temperature.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder and soda, and mix.

In your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend butter, sugar, orange zest, and vanilla at medium speed until pale and fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition.

Reduce speed to low and add a cup of flour followed by 1/3 of the buttermilk. Repeat this 3 times, until you have incorporated all the flour and buttermilk.

Grease two 8in cake pans or 3 6in pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes then remove from pan and allow to completely cool on a cooling rack.

To make the frosting, beat the butter and orange zest on medium high until pale.

Mix in powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla on low until incorporated.

Increase mixer speed to medium high and beat for 5 minutes.

To assemble the cake, spread 1/4 cup of frosting on the first layer of cake.

Top the frosting with 1/2 cup of cranberry sauce, then top with next cake layer. Repeat with all of the layers.

Frost the outer part of the cake and top with fresh or sugared cranberries and freshly grated orange zest.


Pumpkin Seed English Toffee

Pumpkin Seed English Toffee

English Toffee is a holiday staple in our family. This recipe is originally my aunt’s and she generously passed it on to me. Every holiday she arrives with a large platter of this candy and everyone runs to the door. Usually by the time she makes it into the kitchen, the platter is empty.

Shelled Pumpkin Seed English Toffee

Now that our family is so large and the micro families have been formed (i.e. the aunts and uncles have become grandparents and the grandchildren have had their own children), big family get-togethers have become few and far between. This could also be attributed to the fact that I have some really narcissistic insane aunts that makes no one want to be around them. As long as I have the family recipes, good riddance I say!

This english toffee recipe is easy and almost foolproof. Provided you keep the heat low and do not let the sugar burn, your toffee will turn out perfect every time! I love making this recipe with different nuts and seeds. The addition of roasted shelled pumpkin seeds has got to be one of my favorites though!

Perfect for gift giving- Pumpkin Seed English Toffee

English toffee is a great gift. Make this for family and friends this holiday season!

Pumpkin Seed English Toffee


  • 1 lb Plugrá European-Style Butter
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups roasted pumpkin seeds, shelled
  • 18 ounces good quality chocolate


  1. Butter, or line a 11x18 cookie sheet.
  2. Chop nuts and spread 2 cups over buttered sheet.
  3. Put butter, water and sugar in saucepan and cook over medium high heat stirring constantly until 300 degrees f or crackled stage on thermometer.
  4. Remove from heat, add vanilla and stir.
  5. Spread mixture on sheet over pumpkin seeds.
  6. Sprinkle chocolate chunks over hot toffee and let them melt for 5 minutes.
  7. Once the chocolate has started to melt, spread with an offset spatula and sprinkle with remaining pumpkin seeds.
  8. Allow the toffee to cool and harden for 4 hours at room temperature or stick in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  9. Break apart and store in an air tight container for up to two weeks.

Linzer Torte

Linzer Torte

This year I graciously gave up the task of cooking this Thanksgiving. While I love preparing a large meal for family and friends, it is quite the task cooking for 30+ people. Not to mention my kitchen is the size of most people’s master bathroom, which makes cooking for parties next to impossible.

Linzer Torte with Raspberry Filling

I did however, volunteer to make desserts this Thanksgiving since the pies are my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal anyway. I always love creating a spread of desserts. This year, I though it would be fun to create some non-traditional pies.

Linzer Torte Slices

This Linzer Torte is a favorite of mine from my time spent living in Switzerland. The crust is a nutty combination of almonds and hazelnuts as well as chock full of warm winter spices. The raspberry jam filling compliments the cinnamon and cloves in the crust beautifully. The smells of this torte baking are better than any store bought candle!

Homemade Linzer Torte

As with any homemade pie, I highly recommend using my favorite butter of all time. Plugrá European Style Butter is creamy and delicious. The slow-churned process creates less moisture content in the butter which results in a perfectly flaky crust. It is my go to ingredient for all of my cake, candy, and pie making.

Linzer Torte Slice

I hope you enjoy this recipe and add this torte to your holiday dessert table. You will not be disappointed!

Whole Linzer Torte

Linzer Torte

Yield: serves 8-10 people


  • 1 cup almond flour or whole almonds
  • 1/2 cup whole hazelnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 14 tablespoons cold unsalted Plugrá butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups raspberry jam
  • Powdered sugar for garnish


  1. Using a food processor, pulse almond flour (or almonds) and whole hazelnuts until finely ground.
  2. Add flour, sugar, spices, salt, and baking powder and pulse until combined.
  3. In small increments, add butter pieces, pulsing until small pea size clumps form.
  4. Pulse in egg yolks and vanilla and process until just combined.
  5. Once all ingredients have been incorporated, dough should form a ball and no longer stick to the sides of the bowl.
  6. Separate dough into two balls, one 1/3 of the dough and the other 2/3 of the dough.
  7. Roll the small dough ball into small disk in between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Refridgerate for 1 hour.
  8. Press the large dough ball evenly into a buttered 9inch tart or springform pan.
  9. Pour raspberry preserves over dough and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  11. On a lightly floured surface, roll out small dough disk into a 1 inch thick round.
  12. Using a pastry wheel or pizza cutter, cut the pastry into 1 inch strips.
  13. Using an offset spatula, gently transfer the strips to the tart pan. Lay half the strips, evenly spaced, across the torte and then turn the pan a quarter turn and lay the remaining strips across the first strips. If strips break, simply press back together.
  14. Trim the edges of the strips to fit the tart pan.
  15. Bake the torte for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees or until the pastry is golden brown.
  16. Right before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Hot Chocolate Rolls

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BakeInTheFun #CollectiveBias

Hot Chocolate Rolls

Can you believe that Thanksgiving will be here in less than two weeks?!? After that it is Christmas and poof, the years is done. I seriously don’t know where the year has gone.

Holiday Ingredient List

Last year, one of our family resolutions was to give back as much as possible. It has been an amazing experience and has opened us up to so much more. We have done things such as beach cleanings, volunteering at the retirement home and participated in numerous food drives. Did you know that essential items such as milk are not typically donated to food banks, despite being in such high demand? Since we have a food bank close to our home, every time we are at the store we pick up a couple of extra gallons of milk and drop them off for someone in need.

Hot Chocolate Rolls

If you do not have a food bank near you but you still want to help, for a small donation at pourmilklove.comThe Great American Milk Drive will deliver a gallon of milk. Or, if you are like me and like to create a holiday themed candy bar with M&M’s®, you can simply purchase 2 bags of M&M’s® at Walmart (9.4 oz bags or larger) and up to a gallon of milk will be donated to the drive! There is even a coupon available to save $1.00 off of two packages of M&M’s® Chocolate Candies, 8 oz or larger.

Holiday Candy Bar

My kids decided this year that Santa must be tired of cookies and that we should leave him something else. I think that they are thinking that this may add them some bonus points. So we decided to test out a few recipes and these Hot Chocolate Rolls were the winner!

Cake box chocolate rolls

This roll recipe is super easy to make and tastes just like a cake due to the box of Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Cake Mix we added. We then coated the dough with melted butter, cocoa powder, and M&M’s® Hot Chocolate.

Rolling out the dough

Once baked, we coated them with a chocolate glaze and of course more M&M’s®! We decided that we will serve Santa a big plate of these rolls and a cup of hot chocolate. To be honest, if I were Santa I think that I may just give them those bonus points 😉

2nd rise Hot Chocolate Rolls

For more fun recipes with these ingredients, go here! Enjoy!


Hot Chocolate Rolls

Yield: makes 2 dozen rolls


  • 5 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 (18 ounce) package Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Cake Mix
  • 4 and 1/2 teaspoons fast acting yeast
  • 2 1?2 cups warm milk (120 to 130 degrees)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup M&M's® Hot Chocolate
  • Chocolate Glaze
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1?4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1?4 cup milk
  • 2 -2 1?2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • M&M's® Holiday Milk Chocolate for garnish


  1. Heat milk to about 120 degrees in a pan or the microwave. You want it warm, but not hot.
  2. Add yeast and sugar, and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Once yeast has started to foam, add cake mix and flour.
  4. Using your hands or the hook attachment on your Kitchen Aid mixer, knead dough until it forms a ball that no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.
  5. Generously spray a large bowl with non-stick cooking spray and place dough in bowl.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and let it double in size (about an hour) in a cool dark place.
  7. Once it has doubled in size, punch it down.
  8. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a large rectangle, about an 1/2 inch thick.
  9. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cocoa powder and M&M's® Hot Chocolate.
  10. Tightly roll the the dough, starting with the long side and pinching the edges together at the end.
  11. Cut rolls into 20-24 slices and place into 2 well greased baking pans.
  12. Allow rolls to rise again in a cool dark place for about 30 minutes.
  13. When rolls have once again doubled in size, bake at 400 degrees for 10-14 minutes.
  14. Allow to cool while making the glaze.
  15. To make the glaze combine melted butter, cocoa powder, milk, and powdered sugar, whisk until smooth.
  16. Once rolls have cooled for about 5 minutes, pour glaze over rolls and garnish with extra M&M's®.

Walmart M&Ms

An International Christmas Cookie Platter

International Cookie Platter

For years I would try to continue my mother in law’s cookie tradition during the holidays for the sake of my husband, and every year I would hear the same thing, “These are good, but not quite as good as Mom’s.” After hearing this for about 5 years, I gave up and decided to create my own traditions that my future daughter in law would not be able to properly duplicate.

Why am I posting this at the beginning of November you ask? Well, in order to make a glorious platter consisting of new and intriguing cookies, you must prepare. Check out my eBay guide for some tips on essential items that will make your cookie making marathon run as smoothly as possible!

Christmas Cookies

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.