2019: A Year in Cake

It’s no secret that I love to bake. With all of the ultramarathon training in 2019, it wasn’t unusual for me to bake something weekly. My standby is always and forever chocolate walnut cookies (need to share that recipe), but I found myself more drawn to cakes this past year. Without further adieu, here’s a taste of the cakes and a few other delectables that came out of our kitchen in 2019:

Girl Scout Cookie Samoa Cake – this was oh so good! A decadent cake composed of chocolate cake layers, toasted coconut caramel, chocolate ganache, and shortbread buttercream. It’s on my list to make again soon.

Chocolate strawberry cake – a classic for a reason. This cake was made of chocolate cake layers, filled with homemade strawberry preserves, strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream, and topped with a dark chocolate ganache and chocolate covered strawberries.

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes – a little boozy delight for St. Patrick’s Day. These yummies were made of stout chocolate cake, filled with whiskey dark chocolate ganache, and topped with an Irish Cream buttercream. These were so good I made them twice! The buttercream really stole the show.

Carrot Cake – Momofuku Milk Bar’s take on the classic. While this wasn’t our preferred carrot cake, it was a fun take on our favorite dessert. Spiced carrot cake layers were topped with liquid cheesecake, milk crumbs, and graham cracker buttercream.

Lemon poppy seed pound cake – after a couple of iterations I finally nailed down this recipe and made it more times than I can count. The cake is incredibly moist and the zing of the lemon icing takes it to a new level. Make sure to oil AND flour the pan before baking so it gets a nice rise.

Apple Pie – the classic Thanksgiving dessert. Still working on perfecting my pie crust, but this was a delicious end to a decadent meal.

Christmas cookies – nothing says Christmas like rolled out sugar cookies. These babies are the best with just a hint of almond. I love to put on a movie and zone out as I decorate them.

mocha cake – Matt requested something decadent for the new year and this did not disappoint. Chocolate cake layers sandwiched with coffee buttercream and dark chocolate ganache; topped with a ganache drizzle and chocolate covered coffee beans. Definitely a good call if you want to stay up until midnight! Recipe coming soon!

not pictured but also enjoyed: our very favorite carrot cake and blueberry streusel cake that was like a delicious blueberry icing-topped muffin in cake form.

Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies


This is a bit of a detraction from our usual style, but I came across these cookies and had to share. This is a Nordstrom recipe that a friend sent me and I altered slightly. The cookies have a light, cake-like texture that is brightened by the lemon zest. The frosting adds a sharp, citrusy zing that elevates the cookies to another level. We recommend pairing them with a nice cup of coffee :).


Lemon cream cheese cookies

Note: dough needs to made 1 day ahead of time so it can be frozen prior to baking

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup (1 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 – 8oz package of cream cheese
Grated zest of 2 lemons
Juice from 1/2 lemon

  1. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy (~2-3 minutes). Add in the egg and mix until incorporated. On low speed, add in the cream cheese until well mixed. Mix in lemon zest and juice.
  3. Gradually add in the flour mixture and mix until incorporated. Dough will be very soft – almost like a muffin batter.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat and portion out ~12 balls of dough. Freeze until solid, at least 12 hours.
  5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat. Place dough on prepared sheets spaced roughly 2 inches apart. Let stand at room temperature while oven is preheating (~20-30 mins).
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned; rotate pans halfway through baking.
  7. Let cool completely before icing.

Lemon buttercream frosting

1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Grated zest of 1 lemon

  1. Cream butter until light. Add powdered sugar and mix until blended. Add lemon juice and mix until smooth.

Once cookies have cooled, spread icing over the top and sprinkle with lemon zest.



Original recipe for Nordstrom Lemon Ricotta Cookies