Cherry Cheesecake Brownies

These Cherry Cheesecake Brownies have layers of brownie, cheesecake, and cherry pie filling.  The perfect cheesecake trifecta for celebrating anything with.  Or make it for a random Wednesday as an unexpected after dinner dessert.

Cherry Cheesecake Brownies - fudge brownies topped with a cherry swirl cheesecake layer

Today is National Cheesecake Day!  That means all things cheesecake should be eaten all day long, right?  Please say yes, please say yes!!!

Cheesecake happens to be one of my absolute favorite desserts to make.  I love making this Banana Split Cheesecake for when I want a big full size cheesecake for special dinners or for fundraisers at church.  It is a jaw dropper for sure!

Cherry Cheesecake Brownies - fudge brownies topped with a cherry swirl cheesecake layer

Baking layers in desserts is probably my all time favorite way to do cheesecake.  These Take 5 Cheesecake Brownies are definitely one of the best ways to put as many layers as you can into one dessert.

I knew Cheesecake Day was coming up, and I had every intention of making a full sized cheesecake to share with you.  It’s been way too long since I have done a big one.  But then we were gone all day shopping at Ikea for bedroom furniture for our kids bedroom redo’s, and my husband wanted a dessert to take into the guys at his old job.

When there is no time to wait for a big cheesecake to cool, I almost always make cheesecake brownies.  They really are so easy to make, and they cool in just a few short hours.  I like to use a box brownie mix to for convenience, but a homemade brownie recipe that would work just as well. For this cheesecake, you will start with your brownie mix.  Make it according to the package directions and pour it into a baking dish.  Then move onto the next layer.

Make sure your cream cheese is softened before you get started.  I like to get mine out of the refrigerator at least an hour before I start making anything with cream cheese in it. If you forget to get it out, you can always unwrap it and remove the foil package and microwave it for about 30 seconds.  Whip the cream cheese before you add any ingredients.  This will help remove any lumps.  Slowly pour in the rest of the ingredients and beat again.

Spoon the cheesecake batter very carefully onto the brownie batter.  You want them to bake in distinct layers.  Same with the pie filling.  Spoon it very carefully and use a knife to swirl just the top layer.

After this bakes, give it time to cool. I usually leave my finished cheesecake on the counter for an hour, then place it in the refrigerator.  Within 2-3 hours it is completely chilled and ready for you to dive into.

I do like to add chocolate drizzles, Cool Whip, and extra pie filling to make these Cherry Cheesecake Brownies pretty…my husband didn’t want to wait that long for the ones he took to his friends.   Which way would you prefer to eat these…plain or pretty???

Cherry Cheesecake Brownies - fudge brownies topped with a cherry swirl cheesecake layer

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Cherry Cheesecake Brownies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 24 cheesecake brownies

Cherry Cheesecake Brownies

Layers of brownie and a cherry swirl cheesecake makes a fun and impressive dessert to enjoy after dinner.

Ingredients

1 box brownie mix (for 9x13 pan)
1 - 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons butter
1 - 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 - 21 ounce can cherry pie filling
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening
Cool Whip

Instructions

  1. Make brownies according to the package directions. Spread in a greased 9x13 pan. Set aside.
  2. Beat the cream cheese, butter, and cornstarch. Add the sweetened condensed milk, egg, and vanilla and beat again until creamy. Spoon very carefully onto the brownie batter.
  3. Take 1 cup pie filling and drop gently by spoonfuls on the cheesecake layer. Swirl very carefully with a knife. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Cool on the counter for 1 hour. Place in the refrigerator until chilled through.
  4. Cut into 24 squares. Place the chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for one minute. Stir until creamy. Spoon into a plastic baggie and cut one tip off. Drizzle over the squares. Let set. Serve with Cool Whip and extra pie filling. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
http://insidebrucrewlife.com/2014/07/cherry-cheesecake-brownies/

Make sure you check out all the CHEESECAKE LOVE from the bloggers below!

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Berry Coconut Crisp

Summer time means eating as many fresh fruits as possible.  Try mixing those berries and making this Berry Coconut Crisp the next time you need a dessert.  A scoop of ice cream takes it over the top.

Warm berries, crunchy crisp, and melty ice cream…oh, yeah!

Berry Coconut Crisp - cherries and blueberries topped with a coconut crisp topping

Do you have monsters that live in your house?

Ha!  We have fruit monsters, candy monsters, cheese monsters, and of course we can’t forget about the Oreo monsters.  I try hiding the candy and Oreos in different places each time to throw the monsters off, but the cheese and fruit has to stay in the fridge.  I have tried putting it in the very back with boxes of salad in front of it.  Either it gets found or I totally forget that it’s in there.

By the time I remember and want to make something, the monsters have either eaten it, or it has fuzzy green stuff growing on it.  I have started to just leave the fruit out in the open on the top shelf, because really who wants to waste money on fruit that goes bad.

I do that enough with veggies in the bottom drawer.

Berry Coconut Crisp - cherries and blueberries topped with a coconut crisp topping

My daughter and husband love fresh cherries.  Something about eating a fruit that allows you to “spit” a seed or something like that makes it more fun.

The first bag of cherries disappeared before I had a chance to make up this Berry Coconut Crisp idea that was swirling about in my head.  Ggggrrrr to opening the fridge and not seeing those berries anywhere…I had to tell myself that at least they got eaten.

Back to the store to get more berries to bake with.  This time I was smart and bought extra for snacking and for enjoying this Berry Coffee Cake for breakfast one morning.   Of course a few “extras” always end up in the cart when I go shopping for just one thing.  I can’t resist that baking aisle ever.

Oh, and a few cartons of ice cream might have made their way into the cart.  I mean it is summer, so we have to eat it.  It’s one of those rules that I do not argue with.

Berry Coconut Crisp - cherries and blueberries topped with a coconut crisp topping

Prep the berries by washing them and pitting the cherries.  You can also cut the cherries in half like I did, or you can leave them whole.  It really doesn’t matter much in this yummy crisp.

Mix the berries and some coconut with a little bit of flour and cinnamon right in your baking dish.  There is no reason to dirty too many dishes today.  Then mix the rest of the dry ingredients in a bowl and cut the cold butter in until it looks like crumbs.  You can use two knives or a fork to do this.

Or buy a pastry blender to save some muscle work….I have decided that a pastry blender is definitely going on my shopping list next.  Cutting cold butter into flour and oats will give your arm muscles a work out.

Or maybe I’m just weak and need to do more time at the gym.  That’s also very possible.  Summer time has me skipping days there.

Berry Coconut Crisp - cherries and blueberries topped with a coconut crisp topping

After you have the topping ready, spoon it evenly over the fruit.  Throw it in the oven for 40 minutes for the berries to bake down and the topping to get all crispy.   Ok, fine don’t throw it, just place it nice and gently in the hot oven and wait for the crispy magic to happen.

This is one dessert that you can enjoy right out of the oven.  I love a warm berry crisp with ice cream melting over the top of it.  There are others (like my husband) who prefer it cold with the  ice cream not melting on top.  Either way works…but honestly try it warm at least once.  It’s so good.

I may have enjoyed a bowl of this for breakfast one morning.  It is fruit and oats after all with a scoop of dairy on top.  Wink, wink!

Eating dessert for breakfast and skipping the gym are probably not two of my best ideas…

Berry Coconut Crisp - cherries and blueberries topped with a coconut crisp topping

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Berry Coconut Crisp

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Berry Coconut Crisp

Blueberries, cherries, and coconut with a crispy coconut topping. Serve it warm with ice cream for a delicious after dinner dessert.

Ingredients

For the Berries
2 cups blueberries
2 cups pitted, halved cherries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup shredded coconut
For the Crisp Topping
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
6 Tablespoons butter
Vanilla Ice Cream

Instructions

  1. Combine the blueberries and cherries in a 2 quart casserole dish. Stir together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and coconut and toss with the berries.
  2. Combine the flour, oats, sugar, coconut, and cinnamon. Cut in the cold butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Spread over the berry mixture in the pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Remove and serve warm with vanilla ice cream, if desired. Store in a covered container.
http://insidebrucrewlife.com/2014/07/berry-coconut-crisp/

 

More delicious and fun ways to enjoy BERRY treats: 

Glazed Triple Berry Rolls 4-2

Glazed Triple Berry Rolls

Lemon Cream Berry Pie 4

Lemon Cream Berry Pie

Berry Oreo Icebox Cake 8

Berry Oreo Icebox Cake

 

 

 

Banana Split Bundt Cake

Adding chocolate chips and cherries makes this banana cake extra special.  Bring this Banana Split Bundt Cake to those weekend picnics and watch it disappear.

Banana Split Bundt Cake - cherries and chocolate chips makes this banana split cake amazing

One of my favorite jobs when I was in college was at a restaurant in PA called Friendly’s.  I waitressed there with my two best friends, and I have so many fond memories from those days.  There were so many days of just goofing off, laughing when we had to work the “butt” tables, flirting with the customers (yeah, we had no shame then), and trying to get our tables to order an ice cream dessert.

On the busier nights we had someone who would make the ice cream treats for us.  But there were those slow days and nights when getting the ice cream order just went with the job.  I have to admit I really loved making those fun treats.

Banana Split Bundt Cake - cherries and chocolate chips makes this banana split cake amazing

We served milk shakes, clown sundaes for the kids, Reese’s sundaes, and of course banana splits.  You can order all the sundaes as either a 3 or 5 scoop sundae.  And the bowl that the 5 scoop Jim Dandy sundae came in was massive.  Seriously, the thing was huge.  And was it ever fun to make.

5 scoops of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream topped with fudge, marshmallow,  strawberry, walnuts, Cool Whip, sprinkles,  a cherry, and of course a banana cut in half, sliced and stuck all around the top of the bowl.  This is not a sundae for the faint of heart.   Just carrying the dessert around the restaurant was nerve wracking because the thing was so heavy.

Banana Split Bundt Cake - cherries and chocolate chips makes this banana split cake amazing

As a waitress,  you were always trying to get people to order dessert.  The higher the bill, the higher the tip…hopefully.   If a table said they were too full for dessert, my classic response was, “Oh, you don’t need to be hungry for dessert.  It just melts and fills in the cracks.”

Seriously?  Who says that?  And really, who would believe that?

Banana Split Bundt Cake - cherries and chocolate chips makes this banana split cake amazing

Of course to celebrate Banana Split Week, I decided to make a Banana Split Bundt Cake.

For this fun Banana Split Bundt Cake, you are going to incorporate that melty ice cream in place of other liquids.  Yeah, baby!  You read that right!  Ice cream is going into this cake!  Now it’s like a real Banana Split.

Measure the ice cream first, then leave it in a bowl on the counter for 10-15 minutes before starting.   Stir it up before you get started baking.  Remember when you were a kid and would make ice cream soup?  Ok, maybe that was just me.  Anyhoo…make sure it is in liquid form when you add it to the cake batter.  If you forget to get it out early, pop it in the microwave for 15-20 seconds.

This cake starts out with a cake mix and a box of banana pudding.  To amp up the banana flavor some more, you will add a little bit of oil and 2 ripe bananas mashed up.  The extra bananas add the extra flavor and moistness this cake needs.  A whole jar of maraschino cherries diced up and mini chocolate chips knock the socks off this cake.

To complete the banana split sundae look, top the cake with chocolate drizzles, nuts,  Cool Whip, and cherries.  I like to buy the cherries with the stems on because I think they are just so much more fun.  But if  you can only find normal no stem cherries, those work just as well.

Make sure you visit Aimee and see her banana split week recipe.  I hear she made a very delicious Banana Split Poke Cake.

Banana Split Bundt Cake - cherries and chocolate chips makes this banana split cake amazing

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Banana Split Bundt Cake

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 14 cake slices

Banana Split Bundt Cake

Chocolate chips and cherries add a fun twist to this banana bundt cake. It is moist and very delicious.

Ingredients

1 vanilla cake mix (15.25 oz.)
1 box dry instant banana pudding mix (3.4 oz.)
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream, melted
1/4 cup oil
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
1 cup diced maraschino cherries (16 oz. jar)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening
1/4 cup diced nuts
Cool Whip
stemmed maraschino cherries

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, melted ice cream, oil, and mashed bananas. Beat for 1 minute on medium speed, and 2 minutes on high speed.
  2. Stir in the mini chocolate chips and the diced cherries. Gently spoon the batter into a greased 12 inch bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then flip out onto a plate and cool completely.
  3. Place the chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 1 minute. Stir and heat for 20 seconds. Stir until creamy. Spoon into a plastic baggie and cut one tip off. Drizzle over the top of the cooled cake. Sprinkle with nuts.
  4. Serve with Cool Whip and extra cherries if desired. Cut into 14 slices.
http://insidebrucrewlife.com/2014/07/banana-split-bundt-cake/

More fun and delicious ways to put that bundt pan to use:  

Caramel Apple Bundt Cake title 2-2

Caramel Apple Bundt Cake

Salted Caramel Mocha Bundt Cake 4
Salted Caramel Mocha Bundt Cake

White Chocolate Funfetti Chip Cake 5

White Chocolate Funfetti Chip Bundt Cake

Coconut Cream Cake 8

Coconut Cream Bundt Cake 

 

Vanilla Cherry Pie Cupcakes

These homemade Vanilla Cherry Pie Cupcakes are a fun way to celebrate at any party.  The surprise cherry center will make everyone smile when they find it.

Vanilla Cherry Pie Cupcakes - homemade vanilla cupcakes filled with a hidden pocket of cherry pie filling

Do you long for the lazy days of summer?  It’s been so long since we have actually had a summer with absolutely nothing to do.

I remember when our kids were little, and we would look forward to summer time because it meant nothing but pool days and park fun.  Then our kids started getting older, we changed jobs, started a new business, and realized that summer is really just another season with more things to do.

Vanilla Cherry Pie Cupcakes - homemade vanilla cupcakes filled with a hidden pocket of cherry pie filling

Now don’t get me wrong.  There are still plenty of lazy days basking in the sun at the pool or going for a drive to get milkshakes or iced coffee.

But those fun things are scattered among baseball practice, soccer practice, dance classes, church activities, and work time.  And don’t forget about trying to get quiet time, work out time and baking in between all the running around.  I’m feeling a nap come on just thinking about all of it.

Vanilla Cherry Pie Cupcakes - homemade vanilla cupcakes filled with a hidden pocket of cherry pie filling

Just this week alone we are finishing getting things together for my husband to lead a team into Haiti for another pastor’s conference.  (You can read about the Haiti Pastor’s conference and the lessons I learned from my trip to Haiti if you are interested.)  Plus, two of our kids will be celebrating their birthdays while he is gone, so we have a special birthday dinner for our family before he leaves.  I should probably finish the food for that…

And then just when I thought baseball was over, our youngest got chosen for the All Stars baseball team, so more practices and games just went on the next few week’s schedule.  I am super excited for him though.  This year he really stepped it up and played his heart out.  It was so fun to watch the games and see that he knew where the ball needed to go each time he got it.  I love that our kids are so involved in sports and enjoy playing the game.

Vanilla Cherry Pie Cupcakes - homemade vanilla cupcakes filled with a hidden pocket of cherry pie filling

Thank goodness for taking time out of each week to just relax and live life.  A few weekends ago we had a birthday party for my father in law with our whole family.  It was a day of nothing but eating, talking, and playing frisbee.  Oh, and snuggling the little nephews and nieces.  One of my little nephews just adores my daughter, so it is so cute to watch him follow her around with stars in his eyes.  She is such a good big cousin and will play with him all day long too.

One of the ways I like to relax is by spending time in my kitchen.  Birthday parties need cupcakes, right?  So the day before the party I finished everything early, so I could experiment in the kitchen.  Usually I am a cake mix kind of girl, but today’s recipe is for a homemade vanilla cupcake.  If you want to use a box mix, go right ahead, but those will be slightly lighter and fluffier and might fall apart more with the filling inside.

This recipe is a little bit heavier making it perfect for hiding pie filling in the center.   I used a can of cherry pie filling, but you could absolutely use your favorite kind.  Lemon curd, chocolate pudding, hot fudge…the filling ideas are endless!  What would you fill yours with?

Since this is a cherry pie cupcake, we need to have some sort of pie crust in it, right?  You can use one refrigerated pie crust and cut shapes out of it.  Sprinkle the shapes with a cinnamon sugar mixture and bake.  Stars are great for the 4th of July, but you could do any small shape to go with your theme parties.

Now excuse me while I go hide in the closet with the leftover Cool Whip Frosting…I just need a few more minutes of nothing to do before the madness begins again :-)

Vanilla Cherry Pie Cupcakes - homemade vanilla cupcakes filled with a hidden pocket of cherry pie filling

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Vanilla Cherry Pie Cupcakes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 16 minutes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Vanilla Cherry Pie Cupcakes

Homemade vanilla cupcakes with a hidden pocket of pie filling and a delicious swirl of frosting makes any party festive.

Ingredients

Vanilla Cupcakes
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Topping and Filling
1 refrigerated pie crust
1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 - 21 ounce can cherry pie filling (you will only use 1/2 can)
2 - 10.6 ounce containers Cool Whip Frosting
colored sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat again.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add this alternately with the buttermilk until all has been mixed in. Beat the mixture for another 1-2 minutes on medium. Fill 24 cupcake liners with the batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 16-17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs on it. Let cool completely.
  3. Stir together the sugar and cinnamon. Unroll the pie crust according to the package directions. Cut out mini star shapes. Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes. Let cool.
  4. Use a cupcake corer and remove the center of each cupcake. Use a teaspoon to fill the centers with cherry pie filling. Top each cupcake with a generous swirl of Cool Whip Frosting. Add fun colored sprinkles and a star pie crust topper. Makes 24 cupcakes. Store the cupcakes in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
http://insidebrucrewlife.com/2014/06/vanilla-cherry-pie-cupcakes/

 More fun filled cupcakes and cheesecakes to try:

Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake

Chocolate Cherry Cheesecakes

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes 8
Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes 6

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

 

 

 

Cherry Dr. Pepper Jello Squares

Adding soda pop to Jello creates a fun twist to the classic cold dessert.  These Cherry Dr. Pepper Jello Squares go one step farther with a cute little cherry hat.  Perfect for surprising everyone with at those summer picnics and parties.

Cherry Dr. Pepper Jello Squares - cherry Jello & cherry Dr. Pepper make a fun summer treat
These Jello squares have been haunting me for 2 years.

Did you know you could substitute your favorite flavor of soda in place of water to make Jello?  Think of all the variations you can do with this info.

I actually made these Jello squares 2 years ago for a picnic.  I snapped a few pictures before we left thinking it would be fine.  Well, turns out that Jello is a little bit harder to photograph than other desserts.  It may be the cheapest dessert on the block, but it will give you a run for your money when you try to capture a good headshot.

Cherry Dr. Pepper Jello Squares - cherry Jello & cherry Dr. Pepper make a fun summer treat

The pictures I took in a hurry definitely were not usable.  Or I’m just extremely picky when it comes to sharing photos here.  Whatever the reason…I never posted the recipe and picture here.

A few weeks ago while we were driving home from Florida, I was writing up a list of “to do” recipes that I wanted to make this summer.  The infamous soda Jello finally made it back on the list.  We got home, finished the mountain of laundry, and did some grocery shopping.  A 2 liter of Dr. Pepper and 4 boxes of Jello were part of that grocery trip.   I was so excited for the Jello that I made it the very next day, and took pictures a day after that.

Cherry Dr. Pepper Jello Squares - cherry Jello & cherry Dr. Pepper make a fun summer treat

Fun fact about food blogging.  As soon as you make a recipe, you will see or find at least 10 others with the same idea.

My good friend Ashton posted her Cherry Coke Jello last week, while these Dr. Pepper Jello Squares were still in my refrigerator.  Summer time is definitely Jello time, so it was no surprise to me when I saw all the different versions of Jello popping up all over the place.

Cherry Dr. Pepper Jello Squares 4

These Jello squares are seriously so easy to do.  Spray a pan with some non stick spray and wipe out the excess with a napkin.  This will keep your Jello from sticking later.   A flat spatula also is helpful for removing the squares after they set up.

I heated the Dr. Pepper over medium to high heat until it came to a boil.  You need to watch it because it heats very quickly.  It will bubble the entire time it is heating up, but wait until you see the bigger bubbles to remove it from the heat.  Stir in all the packs of Jello and stir until it is completely dissolved.  Pour it into your prepared pan and refrigerate it for at least 4 hours.

Cut your Jello into squares using a hot knife.  Run the knife under hot water and dry it off.  This works for any dessert that you want to cut into a nice clean slice.

Swirl on a little bit of Cool Whip and a cherry with the stem.   These cute little squares are ready for a picnic now.  Or just for you to devour one at a time.

Cherry Dr. Pepper Jello Squares 6

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Cherry Dr. Pepper Jello Squares

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 36 Jello squares

Cherry Dr. Pepper Jello Squares

Cherry Jello and cherry Dr. Pepper topped with Cool Whip and a cherry make a fun summer treat to share at any picnic.

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups cherry Dr. Pepper
4 boxes (3 oz. each) cherry Jello
Cool Whip
maraschino cherries with stems

Instructions

  1. Place the Dr. Pepper in a large saucepan and heat over medium - high heat until it starts to boil. Remove from the heat and stir in all the Jello packets until completely dissolved.
  2. Spray an 8x8 pan with non stick spray and wipe out with a paper towel. Pour the hot Jello into the pan and refrigerate until completely set.
  3. Cut into 36 squares and remove with a spatula. Top with Cool Whip and a cherry. Keep refrigerated in a sealed container.

Notes

Slightly adapted from Kraft Jello Jigglers

http://insidebrucrewlife.com/2014/06/cherry-dr-pepper-jello-squares/

 More fun and delicious Jello recipes for those summer picnics:

Red Hot Jello Salad 1

Red Hot Jello Salad

Cherry Jello Salad title
Cherry Jello Salad

Strawberry Pie 2

Mini Strawberry Pies

 

More Jello recipes from blog friends:

Jello Cheesecake Trifle from Shugary Sweets
Pineapple Jell-O Salad from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen
Gatorade Jello Squares from Cookies and Cups

Cherry Lemonade Donuts

Make a batch of these Cherry Lemonade Donuts to celebrate National Donut Day.  They are sweet and refreshing and perfect for summer breakfasts.

Cherry Lemonade Donuts - these soft baked donuts have a refreshing and light flavor from the lemonade and cherry pieces

It’s National Donut Day today.  Doesn’t that make you super excited?  Ok, maybe I’m just a food nerd who likes fun food holidays that no one else really knows about.  That’s ok…I’m cool with it.

It has been a very long time since I made and posted donuts on the blog.   I was looking back and the last donut post was June 2013.  What?  That is completely unacceptable.  My donut pan is so mad at me for neglecting it for so long.  In order to make it up to the pan, I plan on making lots and lots more donuts.  I hope you are cool with that.  And if you don’t have a donut pan…I suggest buying one ASAP.  They  are really so fun to make!

Cherry Lemonade Donuts - these soft baked donuts have a refreshing and light flavor from the lemonade and cherry pieces

Do you know when I think about donuts the most?

At the gym while I am working out.  You should hear the things that go through my head while I am doing clean and presses or burpees.

1.  Only 2 more rounds to go.  You can do this.  Think of those (insert whatever happens to be on my counter) waiting for you to come home.
2.  Did anyone see me take that mini break during toes to bars?
3.  I hate…no strike that…I loathe Russian twists!
4.  This sucks.
5. Why did I eat that cookie yesterday?

Cherries

6. Only 1 more round to go now…you got this.
7. I think my insides are starting to bleed from all these sit ups.
8.  Seriously?  We have to do a 2000m row after all that?
9.  Just push past the pain.  No pain, no gain.
10.  I should make donuts tonight.

And that’s all in one hour at the gym.  And yes, I think about making sweets while working out at the gym.  That’s perfectly logical, right?

Cherry Lemonade Donuts - these soft baked donuts have a refreshing and light flavor from the lemonade and cherry pieces

When I decided to finally end the donut drought around here, I went with cherry as my flavor choice.  You could use fresh cherries in these donuts as well.  I just happened to have an extra 3 jars of maraschino cherries in my cupboard, so I used one of those.

Use caution when chopping the cherries.  I wasn’t thinking and diced the cherries while wearing a shirt that had white on the front.  Yup, you guessed it.  I have cherry juice on the front of my shirt now.  And red fingertips and fingernails.  #foodbloggerproblems

Cherry Lemonade Donuts - these soft baked donuts have a refreshing and light flavor from the lemonade and cherry pieces

As I was getting ready to make my donut batter, I happened to open my freezer and saw a container of lemonade concentrate.  Right away I knew that I wanted to use that for the liquid in my donuts.  Cherries and lemonade…how much more summery can you get?

Do not add the water to the concentrate!  You want to use it full strength, so that you can taste it after the donuts finish baking.  Just to be sure the lemonade taste was still there, I also added a lemonade glaze to the top.  And fun colored sanding sugar gives the donuts a shimmer.  If I were you, I would use yellow sanding sugar.  I have no idea what was going through my brain when I grabbed the pink and orange sugar.  Really any color sanding sugar will work…do what you like.  I do not recommend using regular sugar though in place of the sanding sugar.  It would dissolve into the glaze.  Kind of pointless if you cannot see the fun shimmers, right?  You can buy sanding sugar at most stores that carry sprinkles.

One more donut making tip.  Spoon the donut batter into a large ziplock bag and cut one corner off.  Make sure the corner you cut off is big enough for the cherry chunks to get through.  Then gently squeeze your batter into the prepared donut pan.  Only fill the donut cavities half full.  They will rise and bake over the tops of the pan if you fill them all the way up.  If that happens, no biggie.  Just use a knife to very carefully remove the donut “hole”.  Throw away the bag when you are done.  Hooray for one less dish to have to wash!

Now what are you waiting for?  Get out there and celebrate Donut Day, cherry style!

Cherry Lemonade Donuts - these soft baked donuts have a refreshing and light flavor from the lemonade and cherry pieces

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Cherry Lemonade Donuts

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 16-18 donuts

Cherry Lemonade Donuts

Lemonade and cherry pieces give a light and refreshing flavor to these easy baked donuts.

Ingredients

For the Donuts
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup plain greek yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup lemonade concentrate
3/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries (10 oz. jar)
For the glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
5 Tablespoons lemonade concentrate
sanding sugar

Instructions

  1. Cream the butter and sugars. Add the egg, vanilla, and yogurt and beat again.
  2. Sift together the baking powder, baking soda, and flour and add alternately with the lemonade concentrate. Gently stir in the cherries. Spoon the mixture into a plastic baggie and cut one tip off.
  3. Spray a donut pan with non stick spray. Fill the pans 1/2 way full with the donut batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Whisk together the powdered sugar and lemonade concentrate. Dip the tops of the cooled donuts in the glaze. Let the excess glaze drip off before setting back on the wire rack. Sprinkle with the sanding sugar. Let set. Store in a loosely sealed container on the counter or refrigerator. Makes 16-18 donuts.

Notes

*You can use fresh cherries in place of the maraschino cherries.

http://insidebrucrewlife.com/2014/06/cherry-lemonade-donuts/

  [Read more...]

Cherry Jello Salad

This Cherry Jello Salad is a sweet side dish to add to your dinner menu.  It can put together quickly in the morning and then is ready for dinner later.

Cherry Jello Salad - this easy and light Jello salad tastes delicious and is the perfect shade of pink

 Why is it that the kids are extra loud and sing songy on the morning after you stay up really late the night before?

I have been trying to be better about getting to bed earlier.  I am quite the night owl and would much rather stay up late at night working on projects.  Getting up early is for the birds in my opinion.

Of course the other night, I stayed up way too late doing who knows what.  The next day the kids were louder than normal and were singing about everything under the sun.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I am thankful they were happy and cheerful…but my head and ears just want quietness until I fully wake up.  Thank goodness there was no snow delay that morning ;-)    [Read more...]

Chocolate Cherry Chunk Cookies

Chocolate chunks and cherries make these easy chocolate cookies so rich and decadent.  It is hard to only eat just one.

Chocolate Cherry Chunk Cookies - decadent chocolate cookies that are perfect for the chocolate lover in you www.insidebrucrewlife.com

 So my sister says I have a problem.  A big baking problem.

You don’t believe her, do you?  I mean just because I bake 4-5 times a week and share those crazy recipes here.  I don’t see the problem at all :-)   [Read more...]

Chocolate Cherry Muffin Tops

Low Fat Chocolate Cherry Muffin Tops

 So I have decided that it is time to start posting some Valentine’s recipes here.  You’re down with that right???  I promise not to go completely overboard, but this is a low fat chocolate cherry muffin top.   Who wouldn’t want this kind of recipe early?

You could wait until February to make these muffins, but I seriously don’t recommend it.  They were delicious!!!  The yogurt in these muffins give them a soft, tender inside.  I really like using yogurt instead of sour cream for muffins.  It helps cut down on the fat content, which is something that I have started to watch a little more.  My kids aren’t big cereal eaters, but they will eat muffins if I keep them on hand.  By making them with yogurt I feel better about them eating chocolate for breakfast.  Of course, we ate them at all times of the day.  They are a perfect afternoon snack when you are craving just a little bit of chocolate.  (that makes me laugh because when I crave chocolate, I don’t want to eat a little)  These chocolate cherry muffins are also a great before bed snack…or a midnight snack!  Whenever you decide to eat them, they will satisfy your chocolate crave!!!

Low Fat Chocolate Cherry Muffin Tops

 The great thing about this muffin is that it is easy to make it in a muffin top pan or a whoopie pie pan, or if you don’t have either, just bake it in a regular muffin tin.  I have included both baking times in the recipe for you.    Let’s talk about the cherries for a minute.  If you like fresh cherries, by all means, use the fresh cherries in your batter.  I just happen to love maraschino cherries.  There is usually a jar in my fridge at all times for sundaes or drinks.  And I keep a backup jar in my baking cupboard…does that surprise you that I have more than one jar?  Something about the taste of these jarred cherries makes me happy.  They also keep their bright red color when you bake with them.  I love pretty food!!! Pretty food just looks so much more appetizing!

Low Fat Chocolate Cherry Muffin Tops

 See how puffy those chocolate cherry muffin tops turned out?  I know you want a bite :-)

 Make sure you don’t miss any of the crazy baking by following the BruCrew here:
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Chocolate Cherry Muffin Tops

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 24 muffin tops

Chocolate Cherry Muffin Tops

Chocolate muffins made with yogurt and filled with chocolate chips and cherries

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cherry juice
1 egg
2/3 cup plain yogurt (I use Chobani)
2/3 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup miniature chocolate chips
1 cup chopped maraschino cherries

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl cream the butter and sugars until creamy. Add the cherry juice, egg, and yogurt to the butter and beat again. Sift together the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and flour and add alternately with the coconut milk to the butter mixture and beat gently. Stir in the chocolate chips and cherries by hand.
  2. Spoon a large tablespoon of batter into a greased muffin top pan (I used a whoopie pie pan) Bake at 400* for 12 minutes. Let cool 2 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool. Store in a sealed container for up to 4 days. Makes 24 muffin tops.

Notes

You can use a regular muffin tin if you don't have a muffin top pan. Bake the muffins for 18 minutes. Makes about 15 muffins.

http://insidebrucrewlife.com/2013/01/chocolate-cherry-muffin-tops/

 

Looking for more chocolate muffins?  Try one of these…

Mocha Muffins 1
MOCHA MUFFINS

Chocolate Avocado Muffins 2

 

CHOCOLATE AVOCADO MUFFINS

Shared with: Treasures, 52 Mantels, Linking Up, Pin It, Taste and Tell, Creative Thursday, Chic & Crafty, Inspiration Gallery, I’m Lovin It, One Creative Weekend, Friday Flair, Weekend Potluck, Show & Tell, Seasonal Inspiration, Finding the Pretty,

Cherry Jubilee Chocolate Cheesecakes

Cherry Jubilee Chocolate Cheesecake

Hey, there cheesecake fans.  Yeah, I’m talking to you:-)  These chocolate cherry cheesecakes are going to blow your cheesecake lovin minds.    You totally need to try these cherry filled cheesecake minis sometime this holiday season.  I love how plain and chocolatey they look, but then one bite and you realize it is so much more!!!   [Read more...]

Cherry Chocolate French Toast Bake

Cherry Chocolate French Toast Bake from www.insidebrucrewlife.com - chocolate and cherries give this french toast bake a fun twist
Things that are making me smile this week:

1. My kids getting A’s and B’s on their tests.
2. Warm beds on cold mornings
3. Starbucks new Love cups
4. Magazines all about chocolate
5. Clean sheet day
6. Fun new recipes to try out from a friend
7. Planning a blog hop with some of my fav girls
8. Sparkly shirts found on clearance
9. Playing ping pong with the family
Chocolate Cherry French Toast Bake - chocolate and cherries in a baked french toast cup
10. Warm french toast bake for a late night snack.
What?
You thought this was a breakfast food?
Sorry…we don’t eat much for breakfast in this house:-)
so it ends up being a bed time snack!

But if you get up early enough to make this…
more power to you.
(I recommend reheating in a microwave, if you aren’t a morning person like me:-)
Cherry Chocolate French Toast Bake from www.insidebrucrewlife.com - chocolate and cherries give this french toast bake a fun twist
Cherry Chocolate French Toast Bake

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 10 mini french toast cups

Cherry Chocolate French Toast Bake

Toasted bagels, dried cherries, and chocolate add a fun twist to this french toast bake.

Ingredients

3 Tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup cubed bagels (2 whole)
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cherries
2 Tablespoons cherry juice
1 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Cut bagels into cubes and toast on a pan at 350* for 7-8 minutes. Drizzle with the melted butter while on the baking sheet.
  2. Whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla and sugar in a large bowl. Add the bread cubes, chocolate chips, coconut and cherries. Let set in the bowl for 20 minutes. Divide into mini foil pans or use muffin liners. Bake at 350* for 20 minutes.
  3. While baking, stir cherry juice into powdered sugar. Drizzle french toast with cherry glaze if desired. Serve while warm.
http://insidebrucrewlife.com/2012/02/cherry-chocolate-coconut-french-toast-bake/