Quick Party Dishes for Kids (and Adults): Strawberry Cupcake Puppy Chow

In need of a fast dish for a party or get together?  Or the kids want a snack that’s not out of a plastic wrapper?  I’ve got the snappy solution.  This literally took me less than 15 minutes to throw … Continue reading

Cookin’ Up Summertime Party Recipes: Chewy Zebra Brownies

Have I got the perfect dish for you to take to your next BBQ, family gathering, friend get together, or just for a good chocolate craving: Chewy Zebra Brownies! A cheesecake like layer with chocolate chips is sandwiched in between … Continue reading

Cookin’ Up Summertime Favorites: Guinness Meets Bratwurst

What better way to kick off the start of this beautiful Spring and Summer weather than doing some outdoor cookin’! We’ll be sharing our favorite warm weather foods over the course of this Spring and Summer season, and hope you’ll … Continue reading

Ground Beef Dilemma and Solution #3: Kid Loving Pasta Bake

There it was…staring at me from the shelf in the freezer.  Just like it always does.  “Whaddya gonna do with me, huh?  You sick of me yet?”  I swear they’re taunting me, those darn packages of ground beef.  But this … Continue reading

Delightfully Delicious Coconut Cake

I have a mother in law that absolutely adores coconut and I always make her a coconut cake around Mother’s Day.  But let’s be honest here.  I’m a pretty darn big fan of it myself!  I find myself adding it to all kinds of recipes that don’t list it in the ingredients like cookies, cakes, or smoothies and it really bumps it up a couple of notches.  Something I’ve found that frustrates me about typical coconut cake recipes is that you start with a boxed cake mix.  Well, friends, not this one.  This one comes from the heart!  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking boxed mixes.  There’s a time and place for them, heck I use them myself!  But when I’m baking a cake for someone special I feel it adds an extra touch when I make the cake completely from scratch.  And let me tell you, this cake is so moist, tasty and just plain GOOD.  And when it’s all done up it looks like a cloud you wanna float around on for a while and just BE.  Can’t argue with that!

Before this cake even made it to the oven, I had my two girls bustling around me “Mom, whatcha makin’ now?  It smells sooo goood!”,  “Can I have some right now?  Isn’t it done yet?”  Geez, where on earth do they get their patience from…or lack there of.  Aren’t we onto the recipe yet?  I can’t believe we haven’t started learning about this fluffy goodness already 😉

Delightfully Delicious Coconut Cake


1 Cup Butter (softened)
2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Buttermilk
2 tsp. Pure Vanilla
2 tsp. Coconut Extract
5 Eggs
2 ½ Cups Flour
1 tsp.  Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt


1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Spray two 8” round pans with cooking spray and line bottoms with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix together and set aside.

3. In a small bowl, combine buttermilk, vanilla, and coconut extract.  Mix together with whisk or fork.  Set aside.

4. In a separate, large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time.  Beat well after adding each one.

5. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk combination to butter mixture until all is combined and mixed until smooth.

6. Pour batter evenly between the two prepared 8” pans.  Bang pans lightly on hard surface a few times, like a counter or table, to force air bubbles in batter to come to the surface.

7. Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted near the center of the cake.

8.  Allow cakes to cool in pans for at least one hour.  Transfer to wire racks to finish cooling.

9.  When completely cool, frost with your favorite frosting.

To frost my coconut cake, I used our Professional Like Buttercream Frosting from our Cookin’ Up Sweet Treatsebook available in the Amazon Kindle Store. You can download it on your Kindle, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, Android Phone, and your home computer! Learn more here.  I added 2 tsp. of coconut extract to it and I was in business. I was just eating the frosting out of the darn bowl!  It was that good! Feel free to do that to your favorite frosting as well.  Give it a try with a whipped topping like Cool Whip if you prefer.  It would lighten things up, but be careful when adding the extract because it can thin out your whipped topping.  Just use a watchful eye.

Here’s how I assembled the cake:

Take your first layer and use a serrated knife to cut off the very top of the cake to produce a level surface.   Do the exact same thing to your second layer.

Take your first layer and place it on your cake stand or plate.  A trick to get it to stay in place is to take a small dollop of your frosting and swipe it down on the middle of your cake plate.  Works like glue!  Spread about a 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of frosting on top of your first layer.

Sprinkle a thin layer of coconut on top of the frosting.  Not too much otherwise your top layer won’t stick properly to your bottom layer.

Take your second layer and place it upside down (so the bottom of your second layer is now your top!) on your first layer.

Proceed with covering the entire cake with the rest of your frosting.  When finished, sprinkle coconut all over the cake, pressing coconut gently onto the sides.  Garnish with fresh berries or chocolate curls if you’d like.

Don’t you just want to cut a slice and dive right in?  I sure did, the second after I took this picture.  I just couldn’t help myself.  And I had plenty of help eating it too.  Remember those ‘patient’ children I mentioned earlier?  Well, they finally got to taste what their noses were so excited about 🙂

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Get more from the Brady Girls at your fingertips with Cookin’ Up Sweet Treats!

Borrow or Purchase our eBook Sweet Treats vol. 1 for your Kindle, iPhone, iPad, Android Devices, or Home Computer in the Kindle Store today!

Remember you can download the Kindle App for Free on nearly any device!

This post is partying over at:The Shabby Creek Cottage, Whipperberry, Serenity Now, Today’s Creative Blog, Tip Junkie, Home Stories AtoZ, Savvy Southern Style and others

Sinfully Good Chocolate Cupcakes: Perfect Dessert for Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day is drawing near and I wanted to bake a simple chocolate cupcake that would make a great dessert for anyone to make for their mom.  These moist, chocolatey tidbits really ‘take the cake’ when it comes to chocolate cakes.  What mom wouldn’t love to have a cupcake like this to follow up their Mother’s Day meal?  A delicious ending to any day really.

I made these when I was visiting all of the Brady Girls in Utah last week. We tried out different recipes and had a good ol’ time.  When the cupcakes came out of the oven, I had my niece right up next to me, begging to have one even if they were still the temperature of the hot oven!  I hadn’t even frosted them yet!  She was able to snag one, and then another, and this continued as the night went on and I proceeded to frost them.  Once the frosting hit the tops of these babies, they were fair game and they disappeared.  Granted, I did my fair share and ate way too many.  But, that’s what vacation is all about, right?!  Indulgence.  And these cupcakes make you close your eyes and just savor the flavor as you bite into them.  Or if you’re my niece, grab two or three and run as fast as you can so her aunt doesn’t catch her and give her the noogies she deserves for stealing her baked goods 🙂  I love family!  Show your mom how much you love her by baking her some Sinfully Good Chocolate Cupcakes this Mother’s Day! Here’s the Recipe:

Sinfully Good Chocolate Cupcakes


2 Eggs
1 Cup Buttermilk
½ Cup Vegetable Oil
2 tsp. Pure Vanilla
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Sugar
1 ½ Cups Flour
1 Cup Cocoa Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 ¼ tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
¾ Cup Boiling Water
½ tsp. Instant Coffee


1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Place paper liners in two cupcake pans.

2. With an electric mixer, mix the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla in a large bowl for three minutes.

3. In a separate bowl, stir together the sugars, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Add slowly to wet ingredients.

4. Boil ¾ cups of water and add ½ tsp. instant coffee and stir.  Add to cake batter and stir using a rubber spatula.  Batter will seem thin, but this is okay!  Note:  if you don’t want to add coffee, feel free to leave it out.  Coffee intensifies the flavor of chocolate so if you’re a coffee lover, add another 1/4 tsp. -1/2 tsp. of instant coffee.

Runny batter is okay!

5. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake both cupcake pans for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick when inserted near the center of a cupcake comes out almost clean.

6. Repeat step 5 until batter is gone.

7.  Remove from oven and allow to cool in cupcake pans for 5 minutes.  Then remove let finish cooling on counter.

8.  When completely cool, frost with your favorite buttercream frosting, like our Chocolate Buttercream Frosting in our ebook, Cookin’ Up Sweet Treats available in the Amazon Kindle Store. You can download it on your Kindle, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, Android Phone, and your home computer! Learn more here.

Note:  You can also use this recipe to make a cake! Works great in a 9×13″ pan or two 8″ pans.  Just be sure to spray pans with cooking spray and line bottom of pans with parchment paper.

Tip: If you do not have buttermilk on hand, use one cup of milk and add 1 Tbs. of white vinegar to it.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes for milk to sour.  Easy homemade buttermilk!

Makes:  Approx. 3 dozen

…P.S. We will have a youtube video up showing you how to decorate these bad boys in a couple of days! I’ll link it here, so stay tuned… Happy Mother’s Day!

Lovin’ this post?

Get more from the Brady Girls at your fingertips with Cookin’ Up Sweet Treats!

Borrow or Purchase our eBook Sweet Treats vol. 1 for your Kindle, iPhone, iPad, Android Devices, or Home Computer in the Kindle Store today!

Remember you can download the Kindle App for Free on nearly any device!

This post is partying over at: The Shabby Creek Cottage, Savvy Southern Style, Whipperberry, Serenity Now and others

Coconut Oatmeal Cookie Pick-Me-Up

I needed another baking pick-me-up.  No ifs, ands, or buts about it.  Let’s crank up the oven and get rollin’!  I decided to bake one of our yummy cookies from our Cookin’ Up Sweet Treats eBook available on Kindle and Free Kindle reading apps everywhere!

These cookies really are a pick-me-up. They’re loaded with oatmeal and coconut which are great energy providers and darn it, coconut makes me pretty happy!  They’re also a thinner buttery cookie so they’re perfect for packing to take with you to work or school.  They’re certainly kid approved too.  My youngest was begging for one, took one bite, and said “Its…sooo good!  You make the best!”  Granted, she’s only three.  But we all know kids will be your most honest judges, good or bad 🙂

Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Simply put, these are crazy delicious!


1 Cup Butter or Margarine (softened)
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
2 tsp. Pure Vanilla
2 Eggs
1 ½ Cups Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder
½ tsp. Salt
2 Cups Oatmeal
2 Cups Shredded Coconut


1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. Cream the butter and sugars together at medium speed.   Beat in eggs and vanilla.

3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Then gradually stir into wet ingredients.   Stir in oatmeal and coconut.

4. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheet at least two inches apart.  Sprinkle tops of cookies with additional coconut.

How do you resist eating the perfect cookie dough ball?

5. Bake one baking sheet at a time for 9-12 minutes.

Makes:  Approx. 3 Dozen

Time:  Approx. 1 hour

Tip:  Pack some of these cookies to bring to your next sporting event, like your children’s soccer games, softball games, etc.  Share with the other kids and parents.  They’re sure to provide some needed energy for the players as well as the spectators 🙂  And you’ll be the hit of the event for bringing such an amazing treat!

So try out these yummy cookies and try a few more recipes from our eBook here on our blog. If you like them please pick-up a copy of Cookin’ Up Sweet Treats that is Free to borrow for Amazon prime users and has over 60 of our favorite cookies, brownies, and bars recipes!!!