Wondering what kuchen is? So was I. Kuchen is a German word for cake. Most kuchen have eggs and flour as the main ingredient, but some may also contain a sweetener or a fat. In other languages, it is used as a term for savory or sweet desserts, or pastries. It is common in Germany to have friends over to enjoy some coffee and kuchen.

Katherine Kallinis and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne, authors of  The Cupcake Diaries explains that “this isn’t a traditional kuchen recipe because they did not use yeast.” They also noted that kuchen “commonly does not have a frosting, instead it has a cinnamon-sugar topping.” 

Whatever the origin of this cupcake, it is just plain delicious. The inside of the cupcake is beautiful fluffy goodness, topped with a divinely caramelized sugar topping. Each bite is more wonderful than the last.

I chose to make this recipe because (as usual), I had all the ingredients in my pantry and it was a crummy day outside. Just a few notes; the batter took much longer than the 16 to 18 minutes they suggested. It took closer to 20 to 25 minutes. I made it twice, each time in two completely different ovens and the same thing occurred. So, don’t worry if it takes a little longer to bake. Also, you want the top of the cupcake to be a light, golden brown, so you know the caramelization took place.

Who doesn’t want to have a delicious cupcake in the morning with coffee, or as a snack or dessert? These muffins won’t disappoint. They are just that good.

This recipe is courtesy of The Cupcake Diaries and will make 12 buttery, luxurious cupcakes.

Ingredients for Butter Kuchen Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups whole milk, at room temperature

For the Cinnamon-Sugar Topping:

1/2 cup of ground cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Line a standard cupcake pan with 12 paper baking cups, or grease the pan with butter if not using baking cups.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon on a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper and set aside. (I sifted mine into a bowl)

In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for 3-5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.

Add the vanilla to the milk in a large liquid measuring cup.

Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients followed by 1/3 of the milk, and mix thoroughly.


Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed.

Add the last third of the dry ingredients followed by the last third of milk.

Mix thoroughly.

Scoop the batter into the cupcake pan using a standard-size ice-cream scoop until each cup is two-thirds full.

For the Topping:

Mix together the cinnamon and sugar and spoon it evenly on top of the batter in each cupcake well.

Bake for 16-18 minutes (start checking at 15 minutes), or until a toothpick comes out clean.

The cinnamon and sugar should have caramelized and be slightly crunchy to the touch.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

It’s that simple!

Through my research, I found that cornbread is made very differently in the North and South. Northerners tend to make their cornbread very sweet, with a high flour content. Southerners prepare their cornbread with cornmeal, very little sugar, and is made in a skillet and finished in the oven.

Interesting! Who knew?

So now, I know I made a “southern” cornbread. When my husband tasted it, he told me he loved it because it “wasn’t too sweet”. Who would have thought those words would have such a significant meaning? When it comes to sweet “northern” cornbread, I prefer it as a muffin. Southern cornbread is great to eat with your meal as southerners do, to soak up any gravy or sauce from your plate. It is also wonderful as a snack, or to take for breakfast. I would also definitely have some after dinner as a dessert, though I would not technically call it a “dessert”. Oh whatever, I would eat this bread anytime! It was so easy to make.

I do know that both kinds are equally delicious. It is pretty much a matter of personal taste. Which kind of cornbread do you enjoy? Please send me an email or write me on my Facebook page. I would love to know.

This recipe is courtesy of Alex Guarnaschelli and will serve 8 to 10 people who will enjoy it so much they won’t care if it is northern or southern!

Ingredients for Corn Bread

1 1/4 cups coarsely ground cornmeal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup of milk
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Place a 9-inch cast iron skillet inside to heat while you make the batter.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

Whisk in the milk, buttermilk, and eggs.

Whisk in almost all of the melted butter, reserving about 1 tablespoon for the skillet later on.

Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven.

Reduce oven temperature to 375°F.

Coat the bottom and sides of the hot skillet with the remaining butter.

Pour the batter into the skillet and place it in the center of the oven.

Bake until the center is firm and a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes and serve.

It’s that simple!

The only way to finish off a great meal is with an even better dessert!

My famous bread pudding is the one dish I simply can’t pass up. I always look for creative combinations of flavors, there are so many possibilities. You can combine caramel and apple, blueberry and white chocolate, pecan pie, or cinnamon raisin, just to mention a few. And I love them all! Who doesn’t? It is the most decadent dessert around.

Since this was my first attempt at making bread pudding (why has it taken me so long?), this recipe is rather old-fashioned. It includes mostly basic ingredients, like vanilla and raisins, which are reminiscent of “grandma’s cooking”. Not to mention, I had all these ingredients in my pantry, which made the process even easier.

I looked at many different recipes for this basic bread pudding, and using all the ingredients I love, designed this recipe. I used plenty of vanilla in mine, but feel free to cut down the amount depending on your palette. I also used challah bread because I really believe it is the best choice. It is thick, moist and absorbs the liquid and sauce beautifully. 

I don’t know how many people this will serve, but the lucky ones who get to taste it are going to want to kiss the cook!

Ingredients for Bread Pudding

5 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 1/2 tbsp. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 challah bread, cut into cubes and toasted
1 1/2 cups raisins
1 tsp. vanilla

For the Vanilla Sauce

3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 egg
4 tbsp. butter, melted
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Grease a 2 quart baking dish.

In a mixing bowl, whisk 5 eggs, white sugar, light brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, and milk.

Gently stir in toasted bread cubes and raisins. 

Pour mixture into baking dish.

Bake in oven for 30 minutes.

Cover with tin foil and continue to bake another 20-25 minutes.

For the vanilla sauce:

In a heavy saucepan, over medium heat, whisk the light brown sugar, egg, cinnamon, flour, butter, milk, and salt together.

Whisk constantly and until smooth and sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.

Stir in vanilla extract.

Pour sauce over warm bread pudding.

It’s that simple!

What to do on a freezing cold day when you are stuck inside? Why bake of course!

This recipe is perfect for any day because you probably already have all the ingredients in your pantry.

I love any dessert with oats. I do not like hot oatmeal, which sounds crazy, but it is true. But put oats in a dessert and I am obsessed.

Not only is it good for breakfast, but why not have it as a dessert or snack as well?

These muffins are delightful. The raisins and the oatmeal give them a wonderful texture. The cinnamon topping is the ideal crown for these “perfect for anytime” of the day muffins. They are really easy to make and you can whip up a batch in no time.

Just to note; I doubled the topping, (as I always do), just in case I needed more, and of course I did.

Always remember to gather all the ingredients first ( mis-in-place). This will help you proceed faster and more comfortably. And go ahead and make these muffins, they are really marvelous!

This recipe is courtesy of kitchn.com and will make about 12 muffins. You might want to make 2 batches, everyone will want seconds!

Ingredients for Oatmeal Raisin Muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup olive oil
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk

Cinnamon Topping (I doubled this)

2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. olive oil

Heat oven to 425 F.

Grease a muffin pan, or line the wells with paper muffin cups.

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl.

Stir in the oats and raisins.

In a large measuring cup, whisk the olive oil with the egg and milk.

Stir the liquid into the dry ingredients just until combined.

Fill the prepared muffin cups 2/3 full with batter.

For the topping;

Mix all the ingredients for the cinnamon topping together in a small bowl until crumbly.

Sprinkle evenly over the muffin batter.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in pan on a rack until they are cool enough to be handled.

Remove from pan and eat while warm, or let cool completely and then store in an airtight container.

It’s that simple!

Like many people, I am a huge fan of apple pie. When I saw this recipe for apple pie bars that can be eaten for breakfast or for a snack, I knew I was going to make them immediately. 

Words can’t accurately describe this scrumptious, decadent dessert. The delicious, sweet crust is a perfect container for the apples. It is then topped with two kinds of apples that are a wonderful combination of tart, sweet and savory. The topping adds a mixture of walnuts and cinnamon. 

Each bite is better than the first. I’ll bet you can’t eat just one. Feel free to add any ice cream of your choice, or some gooey caramel. These bars are going to be delicious any way you choose to eat them.

This is a perfect dessert to bring to any holiday celebration. Don’t let all the steps intimidate you.  It may seem like a lot of work, but in reality, these bars are pretty easy to make. Perhaps you should make two of them, because these dreamy little bars are going to go quickly.

This recipe is courtesy of Ina’s, from her book, Cooking for Jeffery. This recipe will make 12 bars. Be sure to save a couple for yourself, because everyone is going to want seconds!

Ingredients for Apple Pie Bars

For the crust:

1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

For the apple filling:

1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, cored and sliced 1/8 inch thick (3 large)
1 1/2 pounds Golden Delicious apples, peeled, quartered, cored and slice 1/8 inch thick (3 large)
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

For the crust:

Place the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, until light and creamy.

Sift the flour and the salt together and, with the mixer on low, slowly add it to the butter-sugar mixture, being until combined.

Scatter two-thirds of the dough in clumps in a 9 x 13-inch baking pan and press it lightly with floured hands on the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides.

Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown, and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, put the mixing bowl with the remaining dough back on the mixer, add the walnuts and cinnamon, and mix on low speed to combine.

Reduce oven to 350 degrees.

For the filling:

Combine the Granny Smith and Golden Delicious apples and the lemon juice in a very large bowl.

Add the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix well.

Melt the butter in a large (10-inch-diameter) pot, add the apples, and simmer over medium to medium-low heat, stirring often, for 12 to 15 minutes, until the apples are tender and the liquid has mostly evaporated.

Spread the apples evenly over the crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border.

Pinch medium pieces of  the remaining dough with your fingers and drop them evenly on top of the apples (they will not be covered).

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the topping is browned.

Cool completely and cut into bars.

It’s that simple!