Double Swirl Pound Cake

I feel like I’ve been slightly MIA/entirely MIA this week, yes? no? Literally had zero time to write up a post until now.

My current status: sitting in Starbucks with about 45 minutes until my next class, sipping a tall skinny vanilla latte, while writing up a blog post. I would say that I feel totally hipster except I don’t think hipsters wear high school soccer 1/4 zip sweatshirts and running shorts.

Anyways, this week has been cah-razzzy. I feel like I have said that about every week in college so far. It’s just that every week is so gosh darn packed with excitement and things to do. This week and last week were packed with midterm exams and projects. Nothing too dramatic happened with my exams or projects. Thankfully I was not one of those students who left an exam sobbing because I knew none of the material.

Double Swirl Pound Cake | Beautiful Disasters

 

The only moment of huge stress during midterms was for a project, we were assigned in groups, but my “group” was just me and one other guy. We had two weeks to do this project, literally one of the easiest projects ever. I finished my part over a week ago, he, on the other hand, finished 10 minutes before class. So that was nice.

Double Swirl Pound Cake | Beautiful Disasters

Other than that, my exams have gone pretty well. There has been a whole bunch of fun things going on with my sorority. Greek life is huge here at the University of Illinois if any of you aren’t aware. And if you don’t know what Greek life is, it isn’t a bunch of Greek people who gather up and have fun together, it’s the fraternities and sororities on campus…just to clear up any confusion there.

Double Swirl Pound Cake | Beautiful Disasters

Another moment of excitement this week was that I finally got to hop over to my sister’s apartment and have her make me dinner! It was seriously so good. She made us tilapia, steamed veggies, and rice. One of my favorite meals, and something you would certainly never find in the dining halls. She finished up dinner with these adorable mini chocolate pudding pies. It was just so nice to eat a real meal that felt like it was cooked just for you, just like at home.

Double Swirl Pound Cake | Beautiful Disasters

Okay, let’s talk about this pound cake. I have had dreams about this pound cake. With a layer of peanut butter and a layer of Biscoff, this is seriously one of the most decadent pound cakes I have made.

 

Double Swirl Pound Cake | Beautiful Disasters

I’m pretty sure this one was eaten in a matter of 24 hours, which is a pretty impressive stat for 3 people in one house. And I think I may have to take most of the credit for the eating of said pound cake. The sliver, “zero calorie” slices that I would cut myself started to turn into about just half of the pound cake remaining, and that was when I realized these slices may not actually be zero calories. You all just have to make this, you won’t be sorry. And I consider pound cake acceptable for breakfast, so you know what, go for it.

Double Swirl Pound Cake

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup Biscoff spread or Cookie Butter

  1. Preheat oven to 325˚F and spray a loaf pan with cooking spray
  2. Using a mixer, cream together butter and sugar. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla extract. In another separate medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon. Slowly add in the egg-vanilla mixture. Once incorporated, slowly add in the whisked dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  3. Pour 1/3 of the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Spread the peanut butter over top and spread it as far as you can without touching the edges of the pan. Pour another 1/3 of the batter over the peanut butter. Spread the biscoff over the second layer of batter and spread it as far as you can without touching the edges of the pan. Pour the remaining batter over top and spread all the way to the edges, be sure no Biscoff is peaking through.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out free of cake crumbs (with some Biscoff and peanut butter). To stop the top from over-browning, cover the top of the pound cake with aluminum foil after about 25 minutes of baking.

Double Swirl Pound Cake | Beautiful Disasters

Random Fact of the Day: According to U.S. FDA standards, 1 cup of orange juice is allowed to contain 10 fruit fly eggs, but only 2 maggots.

Toasted Fluffernutter Cupcakes

Summer has been over for almost a month now for me but it really does not feel like it at all…

Toasted Fluffernutter Cupcakes | Beautiful Disasters

At least weather-wise! It is seriously hotter than heck here at U of I, and trust me, I would be the one to know because we don’t have air conditioning.

Toasted Fluffernutter Cupcakes | Beautiful Disasters

Then again, it won’t be that much longer until I start complaining about the cold ;) Anywho, I thought I’d bring back some summer fun into our lives over here. I’ve been so busy with school and sorority recruitment that I really need a break to look back at these awesome and fun cupcakes I made before I left for school.

Toasted Fluffernutter Cupcakes | Beautiful Disasters

One of my favorite things about these cupcakes is that I got to break out the blow-torch…oh yeah

Toasted Fluffernutter Cupcakes | Beautiful Disasters

I’m not gonna lie, I’m a total scaredy-cat when it comes to lighting matches but for some reason when I broke out the blow torch I was more excited than a caveman about fire. Seriously guys, if you don’t have a kitchen torch make sure Santa gets you one this year!

Toasted Fluffernutter Cupcakes | Beautiful Disasters

Not only are they fun, but they also help make these cupcakes even more tasty with that toasted marshmallow goodness. :)

Toasted Fluffernutter Cupcakes | Beautiful Disasters

Fluffernutter Cupcakes

FOR THE VANILLA CUPCAKES:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon  salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup white sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk (I used skim)

FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING:

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
milk, as needed

FOR THE MARSHMALLOW FROSTING:

4 egg whites
1 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
  3. For cupcakes: Beat eggs and sugar in a medium bowl using a mixer until light and foamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in butter and vanilla. Gradually pour in butter and then vanilla. Reduce speed to and mix in half of dry ingredients. Beat in milk. Add remaining dry ingredients and beat to combine. Do not over mix.
  4. Pour about 1/3 cup batter into each cup in muffin tin. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool  for 10 minutes, release cupcakes from tins then cool completely.
  5. FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING: Using a mixer, beat butter, peanut butter, and vanilla extract together until smooth. Slowly beat in powdered sugar until desired piping consistency. Add milk as needed if the frosting needs to be thinned out or more powdered sugar as needed if the frosting needs to be thickened. Fill a piping bag, fitted with a small round tip, with the peanut butter frosting and stick the tip into the center of a cooled cupcake. Squeeze frosting into each cupcake until it starts to crack around where the tip is inserted.
  6. FOR THE MARSHMALLOW FROSTING: Add the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch. Attach the bowl to the mixer. Starting on low and increasing the speed to heat, beat the mixture for 5-7 minutes, or until you achieve stiff, glossy peaks. Beat in the vanilla. Transfer the frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip. Pipe frosting into a swirl on each cupcake. Use a kitchen torch to lightly toast the frosting (be careful not to set the liners on fire!). Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days. My marshmallow frosting isn’t too pretty because I was in a rush and was not able to whip it long enough to get to stiff peaks. I recommend making sure you have the correct amount of time before you make these so you can make them look pretty! And please, PLEASE, be careful with the kitchen torch. You may use the broiler but you must watch very carefully.

Toasted Fluffernutter Cupcakes | Beautiful Disasters

Random Fact of the Day: f a surgeon in Ancient Egypt lost a patient while performing an operation, his hands were cut off.

Peanut Butter Cup-inspired Pound Cake

I honestly have no idea what the heck people are talking about when they say “oh yeah, syllabus week?? Total joke, you can go out every night!”. Yeah uh, I don’t know what planet these people are on but I would like to find out where that is and join them.

My syllabus week last week was INSANE.

Reese's-Inspired Pound Cake | Beautiful Disasters

First of all, being a dumb little freshman who thinks she knows everything, I didn’t walk through my classes before school started.  I was pretty sure everything was on the quad, so I was thinking it was going to be a piece of cake.

Reese's-Inspired Pound Cake | Beautiful Disasters

Not the case.

For my first class, I walked over a mile further than I needed to because as crazy as it may seem (sarcasm) the driving directions on your iPhone maps app does not work nearly the same as the walking directions. Who woulda thunk.

Thankfully I left for class about 30 minutes early so I was only 1, maybe 2 minutes late. Unfortunately, I also had the scariest professor for my first class.  Maybe I’m just paranoid, but I felt like he gave me just about the most horrifying look ever.  It’s safe to say I will never be late to that class again.

Reese's-Inspired Pound Cake | Beautiful Disasters

Second of all, I have already had 2 papers due, a presentation, a bunch of chemistry homework, and other random little assignments. Like real homework. Apparently homework isn’t just a high school thing *sigh*.

Reese's-Inspired Pound Cake | Beautiful Disasters

Third of all, I had a million meetings at the same time, same day, different place. And of course they are all “required”. So that was pretty rough to say the least.

Despite my hectic syllabus week, I absolutely love it hear. I feel like I am definitely at home.  I love the people, the atmosphere, and the fun the campus has to offer.

Reese's-Inspired Pound Cake | Beautiful Disasters

But let’s talk about food.  I went a little quickbread/poundcake -crazy before I left for school. I don’t know what my problem was but I was obsessed with them, so this was one of my richest concoctions I came up with. As the name implies it resembles a big, fluffy, cakey peanut butter cup.  Probably more of a dessert pound cake, but no one’s watching if you sneak a slice at 9 AM (cut me a slice while you’re at it).

Peanut Butter Cup Pound Cake

(Adapted from my Chocolate Pound Cake)

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened

1 1/4 cups white sugar

2 eggs

1 3/4 cups flour

2/3 cup cocoa powder (I used dark cocoa powder)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 (6-ounce) container nonfat vanilla/plain yogurt

1/3 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup peanut butter

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan, set aside.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together yogurt, water, and vanilla extract.
  4. Cream together butter and sugar. Mix in eggs, one at a time.
  5. Add half the flour mixture to the creamed butter-sugar mixture. Mix in the yogurt mixture, then add in the rest of the flour mixture. Mix until just combined and pour 1/3 of the batter into prepared loaf pan. Spread 1/2 cup of peanut butter over batter. Pour the second 1/3 of the batter over the peanut butter. Spread the remaining 1/2 cup of peanut butter over the batter. Finish with the remaining 1/3 of the batter. Be sure no peanut butter is peaking through.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Cool in pan for 20 minutes, then turn onto wire rack to finish cooling process. Enjoy and store leftovers in airtight container or cake stand with lid.Reese's-Inspired Pound Cake | Beautiful Disasters

Random Fact of the Day: The first person to go over Niagara falls was Annie Edson-Taylor. She made the trip in a wooden barrel and survived!

The Parent Trap Inspired Gelato

It’s crazy how you never realize how fast summer has come and gone until the end just slaps you right in the face.

Parent Trap Gelato | Beautiful Disasters

I had my last day of work at the pool yesterday so that I will have time to say my goodbyes to friends and family and do some final packing for school.  My friends and I all had a big “family dinner” the other night, right before the first of us headed off to school the next morning. It still just seems so surreal that I really am leaving and going away to college. I still feel like I am still going to have to come back and show up in my high school for class.

Parent Trap Gelato | Beautiful Disasters

Now that the end of summer is coming faster and faster, I am really starting to get major anxiety. For one, I am reaalllly going to need to like take a big ‘ol run when I get to campus so I can get lost and figure out where everything is. It’s weird, but once I get lost in some place and see everything around there, I never get lost again because I’ve seen where everything is and I know how to get out of it. Just my crazy logic there.

Parent Trap Gelato | Beautiful Disasters

Also, sorority recruitment starts pretty soon after I get to school and that’s just like a whole different beast right there. I’m sure I’ll have some interesting stories to share with y’all.

Parent Trap Gelato | Beautiful Disasters

Speaking of sorority recruitment…the first meeting is on the same day and time as a meeting for my college within the university (ACES @ U of I, in case you are wondering), which are both literally seconds after my meeting for my scholarship. So that should be an interesting day.

Parent Trap Gelato | Beautiful Disasters

Finally, I need to get my textbooks. This is where I wish they would do it like they do it in high school, where the teacher just hands you your book on the first day of class and you are good to go. But nope, college has it’s own thang. A $500+ situation with the textbooks is not something I am totally thrilled about, but thanks parents for covering that one!

Parent Trap Gelato | Beautiful Disasters

SInce there is still a sliver of summer left, I felt that it was MORE than appropriate to share [another] gelato recipe. Yes, this is the third and final installment of my slew of gelato recipes I talked about before. One of my favorite combos, peanut butter and oreos, team up together in this gelato recipe and make one bangin’ frozen treat. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cookies ‘N Cream Gelato (The Parent Trap Gelato)

4 cups milk (I used skim)
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups white sugar
8 egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup peanut butter
2 cups smashed Oreos

  1. In a large saucepan combine the milk, cream, and 1 cup sugar over medium heat. Cook until the sugar dissolves, about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl whip the egg yolks with the remaining sugar using a whisk until the eggs have become thick and pale yellow, about 8 minutes (Yeah, it’s a workout. Use the mixer if you prefer). Pour 1 cup of the warm milk and cream mixture into the egg mixture and whisk away. Add this mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over very low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (about 180˚F).
  3. Place a mesh strainer over a large bowl and pour the warm custard mixture through the mesh strainer. Stir in the vanilla and peanut butter until it dissolves. Chill mixture completely, about 8 hours or overnight, before pouring into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions to freeze. Mix in the crushed Oreo pieces during the last 5 minutes.  Let set in freezer for an additional 2 hours and enjoy!

Parent Trap Gelato | Beautiful Disasters

Random Fact of the Day: Apples are 25% air.

Biscoff Banana Bread

Can we talk about the Bachelor/Bachelorette today? I really need to just have a quick discussion about this.

Biscoff Banana Bread | Beautiful Disasters

Like the show is a total mess. It’s actually a worse way of meeting a potential life partner than farmersonly.com or blackpeoplemeet.com or match.com.

Let me explain myself.

First of all, the fact that people are making their love life entertainment for people to watch is just a weird thought.

Second of all, these people are all strangers to each other and then like make-out with eachother within 48 hours of meeting eachother because they just conveniently like eachother from the get-go.

Biscoff Banana Bread | Beautiful Disasters

Third of all, it all of a sudden becomes socially acceptable that the Bachelor or Bachelorette is like totally 11-timing every guy/girl on the show. Like…what?!

I won’t say that I’ve never found the show entertaining, because I will admit…I have watched more than one episode. But, I think we all have to agree, it is one absurd concept.

Biscoff Banana Bread | Beautiful Disasters

And here’s a totally not absurd concept, this biscoff banana bread. I mean can you say yummmm??? Love, love, love this bread. So perfect for a snack, less calories/fat than digging a spoon in the biscoff jar, and so great to wake up with for breakfast. Dig in.

Biscoff Banana Bread

(Adapted from my Peanut Butter Banana Bread)

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

pinch of salt

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3 bananas

2 eggs

1 little less than 1/3 cup skim milk mixed with 1 teaspoon of white vinegar (or 1/3 cup buttermilk)

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup Biscoff or cookie butter

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray loaf pan with cooking spray, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together smashed bananas, Biscoff or cookie butter, oil, milk-vinegar mixture (or buttermilk), eggs, sugars,and vanilla extract. Once combined mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until completely combined with no streaks of flour.
  4. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake in preheated oven for 60-75 minutes or until comes out with a few crumbs on it. If the bread is browning quicker than the middle is cooking, you can cover the top with foil partway through.

Biscoff Banana Bread | Beautiful Disasters

Random Fact of the Day: English novelist Arnold Bennet drank a glass of water in a Paris Hotel to prove it was safe. He died two months later of Typhoid!