tis the season for babies…

Like weddings, it seems that there is a prime season for babies too. A lot of friends are having their first (or second) babies this year which means of course baby showers. Yes, I am trying to join that band wagon too but that’s a different story and this isn’t that kind of post to my better half and I’s trials and tribulations on adding mini-me’s to our family. I will say that when people say you are never ready, that is so true but seriously in like a switch, I went from being very anti-baby to ok I am ready to sacrifice a few things such as sleep. Don’t get me wrong – I still refuse to hold  hands or let my friend’s kids touch me after they eat or have gross stuff on their hands… lol. BUT I’m ready. Who knows – if my dog can have similar habits and OCD moments like me, I’m sure a baby can too unless he or she takes after their father a bit too much. (JK Andrew).

Anyway, I digress. Back to the baby shower or showers to be exact, this is baby shower number 1 that happened at the end of last month and I am just very late to post. My friends (and also CF coach) did a dual Grand Gym Opening/baby shower so I offered to do a little baking. Btw if you live in Oakland and curious about Crossfit, Pacific Strength is the place to go! James is awesome and programs great WODs. Back to the shower, so the theme was a Mexican theme and one of the desserts needed to be gluten free. After a little research, I decided to make Mexican Spicy Hot Chocolate Cake, Churro Cupcakes, and Mexican Rice Pudding. The rice pudding was the gluten free. I have to say that I need to do more cakes to get my icing skills on and also need to bust out the pastry bag to do more piping instead of the lazy man way.


For the Churro Cupcakes, I wish I also made actual churros too but frying is not a big thing for me. It was still a hit though. I had a friend eat like four of them! This was a interesting recipe because you actually glazed the cupcakes before putting on the icing.


Recipe adapted from The Lady Behind the Curtain


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups cake flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 3/4 cups sugar

4 large eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups milk

Cinnamon Sugar Crunchy Topping

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1 (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon milk (if desired)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.
  3. Whisk together both flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  4. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  6. Beat in vanilla.
  7. Reduce speed to low.
  8. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each.
  9. Fill each cupcake liner three-quarters full.
  10. Bake 20 minutes.
  11. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.
  12. Top with cinnamon sugar crunchy topping and cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
  13. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Set out 20 minutes before serving
Cinnamon Sugar Crunchy Topping:
  1. In a small bowl melt butter.
  2. In another small bowl combine the sugar and cinnamon.
  3. When cupcakes are completely cooled brush melted butter on the tops and dip into the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
  1. In a medium bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until light.
  2. Mix in vanilla and cinnamon; add confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time until all is incorporated.
  3. If the frosting gets too thick, add milk a few drops at a time until it reaches desired consistency.


I chose the Mexican Spicy Hot Chocolate Cake because I always think of chile peppers and spicy chocolate. I didn’t actually see them cut the cake before I left but apparently there was a very small sliver at the end of the party. This was fun to make too but I did accidentaly use Paprika instead Cayenne Pepper so I added both. I also frosted the entire thing versus just layers.



Mexican Spicy Hot Chocolate Cake adapted from Tough Cookie


1.5 cups flour

1.5 cups sugar

2/3 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp cayenne powder

3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature

2/3 cup hot water

3/4 cup vegetable/canola/sunflower oil

1.5 tsp vanilla

2 eggs


1/2 cup (115g) softened butter

60g semi-sweet or dark chocolate, melted

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp cayenne powder

1 cup (100g) confectioner’s sugar

2-3 Tbs buttermilk

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F (180°C). Spray the bottom of two 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and line bottoms with parchment rounds. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne.
  3. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, water, oil, and vanilla, and then mix in eggs.
  4. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute. Divide batter equally among the two cake pans.
  5. Bake until a wooden pick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out with a only a few crumbs, about 23 minutes. Try not to over-bake. Let cakes cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, and then turn onto rack to cool completely.
  1. Place butter in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla, and cayenne, and beat to incorporate. Sift in the icing sugar, stir. Add the buttermilk 1 Tbs at a time, until the frosting reaches your desired consistency.


  1. Carve the two cakes to where they align before frosting. This will help with keeping them together.
  2. Put the bottom down and frost the top and then put on second layer. After both layers are on, frost the rest of the cake.



mini, matcha, mochi!

Mini Matcha Mochi Donuts – say that 3x fast and then add “with Chocolate Ganache Glaze” after. Its a mouth full and it tastes as delish as it sounds.

This isn’t exactly very “Christmas” or holiday-esque but when I found the recipe I had to try it. Matcha is green though so maybe that counts. The donuts are also BAKED aka more healthy than your typical donut (probably). It does taste a bit more dense due to the mochi flour too.

This recipe is simple and quick especially if you have multiple donut pans. You of course can make normal sized as well but mini is just more fun, adorable, and less guilt if you ate more than one. What is even better  is that it can be easily adopted to make other flavors too like chocolate or raspberry, etc. I only tried the matcha so far because who doesn’t love matcha combined with chocolate. Even one of the girls on my team who doesn’t like matcha enjoyed it. She did state that you don’t really taste the matcha but than again I also gave her an extra glazed one. lol

After posting the picture below, this has got to be one of the more popular #taosbakedgoods post in a while.


I mean just look at the adorableness of the minis and then with that nice chocolate ganache glaze. Yes I do need to put more effort into my food pics so they fully project to you few readers the same enjoyment and satisfaction that I feel when I pull the goodies out of the oven. Anywho, enjoy the recipe. I will probably be trying different versions of this later on…

Baked Mini Matcha Mochi Donuts

adapted from Miss Hangrypants
makes 36 mini donuts

  • 1 1/3 cup mochiko
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp matcha powder (unsweetened)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted and slightly cooled

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk (or heavy cream)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease mini donut pan
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, mix wet ingredients: butter, milk, vanilla, honey and eggs
  3. Combine dry and wet mix and stir well.
  4. Bake for 12-15 mins. Let cool a bit in the mold and then flip them out onto a rack
  5. Meanwhile, make the ganache. I just microwave the chocolate chips and coconut milk for 15-30secs. Stir vigorously to mix. Dip donuts into the ganache and then into sprinkles of your choice

*Mochiko flour can be purchased at any Asian grocery store usually and averages about $3 for a box

National Donut Day came and went…

Sorry!! I am going to do my best to set a side time every Sunday to update this blog. However, I am traveling the next two weekends due to weddings – NY and Portland but then again I will have time on the plane.

So anywho, National Donut Day came and went. I celebrated by baking my heart out and not eating any. I know I know… I’m weird but the sweet tooth just isn’t there. I have been like this since I was little. However, when I was younger (like a lot younger), my favorite donut was the tiger tail donut. This is a long twisted donut that two flavored of plain and chocolate as seen below


I remember going to the grocery store with my mom and once in a while spying one and asking to get it. I’m also a fan of the Classic Oldie – Plain Glazed… no frills and just plain delish. I don’t do the jam or the excessive glaze with sprinkles, etc.. It’s just too much and took away from enjoying the nicely fried dough. However, now that I am in the beginnings of my 30s and my metabolism isn’t exactly that of a ten year old, i don’t really go for those things. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy finding some good recipes and making them for friends and work. With that said, I made it a National Donut Day Weekend with Black Sesame Matcha Glazed, Brown Butter Chocolate Glazed Donuts, and finally Green Milk Tea Donuts with a Milk Tea Glaze. Warning – these were all Baked which led to this convo…

Me: hey TB (my hubs), do you want to try one?

TB: Yes! and he proceeds into the kitchen for a chocolate one

Me: how was it?

TB: ehhh I was expecting something else. I thought it was fried.


TB: ok i feel like i just said the wrong thing…

The consensus was that while all three were good, the favorite amongst my friends was the Green Milk Tea Donut.

and I’m a noob as I forgot to take WIP pictures so I share with you a picture of the finished product along with recipes…

Black Sesame Matcha at the top, Brown Butter Chocolate Glazed at the bottom
Black Sesame Matcha at the top, Brown Butter Chocolate Glazed at the bottom

For these two donuts, I pretty much adopted the recipes from The Little Epicuream and Spoonful of Flavor below except for the glazing, I always use less powdered sugar. Powdered sugar is much sweeter and even though I’m not eating this, I still think too much is too much. Also be careful as its quick to thickening but you can adjust with milk.

However, for the Green Tea Milk Tea which is adopted from Adventures in Cooking, I used Green Tea instead of Oolong Tea and used a lot less powdered sugar again… If you are a Milk Tea lover like me, the aroma from making the tea is pretty awesome…

Green Milk Tea with Milk Tea Glaze
Green Milk Tea with Milk Tea Glaze
Oolong Donuts
2 and 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cloves
3/4 cup milk
1 tbs of green tea
3 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Milk Tea Glaze
1/2 cup milk, hot
3 bags of black tea
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Bring milk to a boil and add in the green tea. You can use tea bags or just throw in the actual tea leaves. The actual tea leaves makes the flavor stronger. After you can either just bake it in or collinder it out. Once boiled, let it soak on low heat for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool for an hour.
Once the milk is ready, preheat oven to 350F. Mix together all the dry products. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, and sugar until well blended. Add in the milk tea, buttermilk, and vanilla. After this slowly add in the flour mix in thirds. Once all mixed, scoop into donuts pans and bake for 12-15 minutes. I used both the normal and mini size donut pans and about 12 minutes was perfect. One thing that happened to me during my donut adventures was the part of the donuts that faced up were sticky so I glazed this side versus the bottom.
So this was my National Donut Day goodies.. and I know its late but I hope you enjoy!