Author Archives: shansdesserts

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting





1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
¾ cup canned pumpkin
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
4 cups powdered sugar



Makes 12 cupcakes or 24 mini cupcakes.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with liners and set aside.

2. In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

3. In separate, large bowl, whisk together both sugars, pumpkin, and vegetable oil until smooth and thoroughly combined.

4. Whisk in the eggs one at a time. Slowly fold in flour mixture and mix until combined. Divide the batter evenly between 12 muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees F for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cakes cool on a wire rack. Let them cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:

  1. With an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).

2. Add cream cheese, salt, and vanilla and continue to beat for an additional 2 minutes. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium low and add the powdered sugar slowly. Gradually mix slowly while scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Once combined, beat frosting on medium high for 1 additional minute.


Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker’s Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting




Gluten & Dairy-free Pumkin Donuts with Dark Chocolate Glaze





coconut oil spray (for greasing the pan)

5 large eggs

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree

1/2 cup maple syrup or honey

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup almond flour

1/2 cup coconut flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Dark Chocolate Glaze:

1/4 dark chocolate, chopped and melted

1 1/2 teaspoons coconut oil, melted

1 teaspoon honey



1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Grease 2 6-cavity donut pans (or 1 12-cavity pan).

2.) Place the eggs, coconut milk, pumpkin, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla in a food processor and blend until frothy (about 20 seconds).

3.) Add the dry ingredients and blend the mixture on low for about 10 seconds, then on high for about 20 seconds. 

4.) Pour the batter into the donut pan, filling each cavity about 2/3 full.

5.) Bake for 20 minutes. Let the donuts cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring to cooling racks to cool completely. 

6.) For the glaze: Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. After the donuts have cooled completely, dip the top of each in the glaze and rotate to remove excess. 

Recipe adapted from Danielle Walker’s Against all Grain

Lemon Blueberry Muffins




2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest plus 1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature

1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 1/4 cups blueberries



1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with baking cups. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, zest, juice, and milk. Whisk in butter. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, until just combined. Fold in blueberries.  
2.) Divide batter evenly between 12 muffin cups (about 1/4 cup to each). Bake until tops spring back when lightly touched, about 20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes in pan, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Lemon Blueberry Muffins

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies


photo 4


2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1 1/2 cups Guittard milk chocolate chips

photo 3


1.) Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.

2.) In an electric mixer, mix together butter and sugars until thoroughly combined. Beat in egg, yolk, and vanilla until blended. Gradually add dry ingredients into electric mixer and mix until thoroughly blended.

3.) Let dough chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

4.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Roll 1/4 cup of dough into balls and set out on non-stick pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Let cool on the pan before transferring to cooling racks.

Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker’s “Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies”.

Blueberry Oatmeal Granola Bars



*Note: My granola bars turned out amazing! I altered the original recipe quite a bit, mostly out of laziness. I was out of a lot of ingredients and did not feel like driving to the store and therefore, improvised. If you are considering making these, it might be worth taking a glance at the original recipe (link below) to get a sense for the changes I made.



2 cups old fashioned oats

1 cup slivered almonds

4 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon unsalted butter (or coconut oil)

1 teaspoon salt

1½ teaspoon cinnamon

2 bananas

1½ teaspoons vanilla

1 scoop Vanilla Whey Protein


½ cup old fashioned oats

1 cup slivered almonds

1/4 cup raisins

1 cup fresh organic blueberries

¼ cup of almond milk (or coconut milk)

¼ teaspoon cinnamon



1.) Preheat oven to 350°. Line 8 x 8 baking pan with parchment paper, lightly grease with coconut oil (nonstick cooking spray)

2.) Combine all base ingredients in mixer and beat until thoroughly completely combined. Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly with spatula.

3.) Bake for 8-10 minutes.

4.) Combine ingredients for the topping in medium bowl and stir to combine.

5.) Remove the pan from oven, spread topping evenly over and lightly press down into base. Bake an additional 15 minutes.

Recipe adapted from A Healthy Life for Me’s “Oatmeal Superfood Breakfast Bars”

Peppermint Fudge




3 cups white chocolate chips

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup crushed candy cane

3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract


1.) Line 8×8 pan with wax paper and spray lightly with cooking spray. Pour white chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk into a medium saucepan. Over medium heat, melt white chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk, stirring constantly.

2.) Once melted, remove white chocolate from heat and stir in peppermint extract and candy canes (save a small amount of the crushed canes for sprinkling over the top!).

3.) Pour mixture into 8×8 pan. Sprinkle semi-sweet chips on top and let melt for approximately 2 minutes. Once semi-sweet chips look slightly melted, use a knife to swirl through. Sprinkle candy canes on top and let fudge chill in the fridge for approximately 3 hours.

Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread




4 ripe bananas, smashed up

1/3 cup melted butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking soda

dash of salt

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

For the cinnamon swirl:

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 Tbs cinnamon



1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a standard size bread pan with butter and set aside.

2.) In a medium bowl, mix bananas, butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla together until well combined. Sprinkle baking soda and salt over banana mixture. Gently stir in flour; keep in mind that you don’t want to over mix!

3.) In a separate bowl, mix together sugar and cinnamon for cinnamon swirl.

4.) Pour half of the batter into pre-greased bread pan. Sprinkle 3/4 of the cinnamon swirl mixture on top and then add the remaining batter. Pour leftover cinnamon swirl to the top of the loaf.

5.) Bake 50-60 minutes. Keep and eye on how the bread is baking and lower the temperature if it doesn’t seem to be cooking fast enough in the center. Let bread cool completely in pan before removing.


Recipe adapted from Lovin’ from the Oven

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes



Makes 32 cupcakes


For the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cup plus 4 tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided
1 1/2 cup cake flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
  1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  1 1/2 cup plus 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
Zest of  2 lemons
  4 large eggs, at room temperature
  2 tsp. vanilla extract
  4 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  1 cup plus 4 tbsp. milk, at room temperature
  2 cup fresh blueberries

For the frosting: 
  16 oz. cream cheese
  10 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  6 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of 1 large lemon
Additional fresh blueberries, for garnish




1.) Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder and salt; whisk together and set aside.

2.) In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine butter, sugar and lemon zest. Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

3.)Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down sides of bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and lemon juice.

4.) With the mixer on low speed, mix in half of the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Add the milk and beat well. Mix in the remaining dry ingredients, beating just until incorporated.

5.) In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with 4 tbsp. all-purpose flour. Add the blueberries to the sugar mixture and use a spatula to fold gently.

6.) Divide the batter equally between muffin liners (each should be about 3/4 full). Bake 20-22 minutes, rotating pans about halfway through. Let cupcakes cool for 5 minutes in pans, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

7.) To make the lemon cream cheese frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the lemon juice and lemon zest. Slowly beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired. Garnish with fresh blueberries, sugar pearls, or however desired.

Recipe adapted from Annie’s eats


Nutella Brownies




1 cup unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Nutella
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips for sprinkling


1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and 8″x8″ baking dish.
2.) In small saucepan over low heat, melt butter completely. Stir in sugar and continue cooking for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not allow this mixture to boil.
3.) Remove the sugar mixture from heat and stir in the Nutella until well combined.
4.) Pour butter mixture into a stand mixer. Beat in cocoa powder, eggs, salt, baking powder, and vanilla. Mix until thoroughly combined. Lastly, stir in the flour and mix for 1-2 minutes, until combined.
5.) Spread into pan,sprinkle chips on top, and bake 30-35 minutes. The center should be slightly moist and the edges set, but not too browned. Let brownies set in the pan until completely cooled.

Recipe adapted from Buns In My Oven

Cake Batter Rice Crispy Treats




1 1/2 lb marshmallows

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

12 cups rice crispy cereal

1 cup vanilla cake mix

1/2 cup sprinkles plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling


Note: When making rice crispy treats it is important to thoroughly spray every utensil/ bowl/ pan with non-stick spray or butter them. When in doubt, spray a little extra.

1. Spray non-stick 9″ x 13″ pan and set aside. Place butter and marshmallows into large bowl. Microwave in 1 minute intervals, stirring well after each minute.

2. After butter mixture is melted and thoroughly combined, add rice crispy cereal and stir until just combined. Pour in sprinkles and cake mix and fold mixture until all ingredients are well dispersed throughout the bowl.

3. Pour rice crispies into pan and flatten with spatula. Let cool completely before cutting.