Cookies Frosting Holidays Recipes

Nested Star Sugar Cookie Tree

Who doesn't love Christmas cookie season? I know I sure do. One cookie I cannot do without, is my sugar cookie cut outs with a secret ingredient! These seriously are so delicious, you won't be able to go back to your old sugar cookie cut out recipe. These not only hold their shape, but they simplify the most delicious sugar cookie you will ever eat! I have to pace myself with these! Not only do I have to bake and decorate my famous sugar cookies cutouts, I have to make the SHOW STOPPER! My stacked star sugar cookie TREE! It is simply stunning. SO elegant. I make a couple and add them to our Christmas feasts on Christmas Eve or our Christmas Kick Off party, and them munch on until it is gone. It goes fast!

I’ve wanted to try my hand at royal icing decorated cookies…aren’t there some stunning designs out there? I have always hesitated and I am not one to hesitate because I am scared of “failing”…if I hesitate, it’s because something just doesn’t jive…something just doesn’t fit…something is off…and then it hit me. I don’t make anything I personally will NOT absolutely go to food nirvana for. Royal icing just doesn’t tantalize my taste buds. I’m not into cookies that just look cute, I want to go to dessert 7th heaven so the calories, and what I gotta do to burn them off, is worth it!

Once you have a sugar cookie recipe that knocks people’s socks off–and trust me, you will get loads of people asking for the recipe, because the secret ingredient will set these sugar cookies light years apart of all the rest–the fun becomes how many different ways can you decorate them with buttercream. I feel like buttercream gets a bad rap with regards to sugar cookie decorating since all the gorgeous royal icing decorated cookies hit Instagram. Don’t get me wrong, they are stunning! 

Sugar Cookie Cut Out Tree

Each sugar cookie tree takes a little less than one recipe of my sugar cookie dough, recipe at the bottom. I love to make an impact with these on my dessert table for our holiday feast. I got this nested star Christmas Tree cookie cutter set from Crate and Barrel back in the day, but they don’t have them anymore. I wanted to make sure I had some to gift so I searched high and low. I found out Wilton has a set sold at Joann Fabrics. 

I always bake my cookies on parchment paper. It makes for easy cleaning and removal of the cookies when cooled enough. I also pipe the frosting and add sprinkles on each star layer before adding the next star. I find it makes for a more even design and I can get everything in every nook and cranny. It just looks more polished in the end. I used red, dark green, light green, and white nonpareils. I am obsessed with having at least two shades of green. I cannot just have one. My husband calls me particular. The nerve. Hahaha! So true, and I own it. I also used white (clear?) sparkling sugar, and dark green sanding sugar to sprinkle on each layer. I love the added sparkle and texture it gives. 

I also visually align the next star so the points are centered above the star below before placing. The second to last star I pipe a mound for the last star to stand upright like a tree topper. This time I did add gold star sprinkles all over after it was all assembled. 

How stunning did this turn out? I am in LOVE. I used this Cooked Frosting my mom passed down to me. I have also  cream cheese frosting (found at the bottom of the page). The cookie recipe is below. How are you planning to decorate your Christmas sugar cookies?

The Last Sugar Cookie Recipe You Will Ever Need

Are you tired of boring, almost bland sugar cookies? Don’t even enjoy sugar cookies because they are almost like sweet cardboard? NOT these sugar cookies! There’s a slight tang from cream cheese, flavors pop with vanilla and almond extract, sweet and salty bring the best balance, and the secret ingredient: BROWNED BUTTER.  You cannot go wrong with these cookies. I like mine with a crisp edge, and an aldente but not quite soft texture. 

3/4 c. browned butter (1 1/2 sticks)

1/2 c. cream cheese (1/2 of a 8 oz pkg)

1 1/2 c. sugar

1 egg

2 tsp. vanilla

2 tsp. almond extract

2 tsp. salt

4 c. flour (reserve one cup as needed)

1) In a sauce pan on med heat, brown your butter. Watch the butter as it starts to froth up, and stir as needed. You will notice the froth will go down, and then start frothing again. By the 2nd froth/bubbling I have found this is about the time you want to stop browning the butter. Take the butter off the stove as you smell the nutty richness. Chill the browned butter until solid.

2) Let the browned butter and the cream cheese come up to room temperature. 

3) Cream the browned butter, cream cheese, and sugar until fluffy in a stand mixer, or using a hand held mixer in a large bowl. You will see the color turn light and the mix becomes fluffy. 

4) Add the egg, vanilla, almond extract, and salt. Scrap down the sides with a silicone spatula. 

5) Add 3 cups of flour and mix. Scrape down the sides. Add the remaining flour in 1/4 cup increments as needed. You know the dough is ready when it comes to a ball and is clean away from the side of the bowl. Depending on the humidity and elevation, you will need to be vigilant in how much flour you add, and may not need the extra full cup. The dough is pretty stiff, but not crumbly to where the flour is not incorporated. 

6) Split the dough into two equal parts. Wrap each dough section in cling wrap. Flatten into a rectangle, and chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, overnight if necessary. An alternative step at this point(or just intentionally make a double or triple batch), if you choose to make frozen dough disks (I use an ice cream scoop and flatten the round dough to a puck shape, line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper, freeze on a cookie sheet, then place the pucks in a freezer safe ziploc bag to keep frozen sugar cookie dough on hand for in a pinch cookie hankerings–you can bake frozen, just watch the cookies because they may need extra time being baked from a frozen state).

7) When you are ready to roll out, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You may need to let the dough warm up a bit on the counter, especially if it has been chilling overnight. 

8) Lightly flour the surface, then roll out your dough to 3/8 inch for thick cookies. If you prefer thinner cookies, adjust the bake time down. Cut out your dough, and place on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Space them at least a half inch apart. The cookies should not spread. If you want to sprinkle sanding sugar on the cookies and not frost them, do so before baking them. These are great cookies to eat without frosting, but I have an even better recipe for sugar cookies if you just want sanding sugar on them, but these work as well. 

9) Bake for 9-11 min. If your cookies are thinner or small cut out, watch them at 7-9 min. A perfectly baked cookie will show golden patches on the bottom, but not dark brown or worse.  Rest on the cookie sheet until cooled enough to move the parchment without damaging the cookies, and cool on a counter off the hot cookie sheet, or in a airtight container. If your first batch of cookies does not have the wonderfully crackled look on top, knead the rest of the dough before rolling out and baking. 

10) Completely cool before frosting. Check out my Cooked Frosting, which I think beats any butter cream frosting on these cookies hands down!

Check out these holiday sugar cookies I have made with this recipe. I love to use my Cooked Frosting as well as my cream cheese buttercream on these. I also love to stripe fruit fillings to add another dimension of flavor and color. I love how all of these cookies turned out! Not only are they adorable, but they are so delicious! I hope I can convince you how cute buttercream decorated cookies are.

Cookies Frosting Recipes

Raspberry Cheesecake Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs


If you love raspberry cheesecake, you will absolutely die having one of these Raspberry Cheesecake Sugar Cookie Cutouts! I sure did!!! Wow, these were so good, and frankly it was a fluke how I came up with these. I needed a dessert on the fly for my Valentine’s dinner I was having at home for my sweetheart, but I needed everything to come together FAST! We both just had a long day at work, and it had already been a long couple weeks, so we were tired. There was no way we were going to fight the crowds to enjoy a romantic dinner, and I LOVE pulling out the “fancy” linens and tablewares. I had a few heart cut-out sugar cookies from the Valentine’s cookies I made left over, but not frosted–BTW these are THE BEST sugar cookies you will ever have…no sweet cardboard here! I had leftover raspberry filling and my Perfect Ration Dreamy Cream Cheese Frosting from a Dark Chocolate Ganache and Raspberry Valentine’s cake I made,  and it hit me! Decorate them just like the other cookies I did but with what I have one hand, and use the gold and white sprinkles with the red sanding sugar and red heart sprinkles I had. Voila! What They looked stunning!


So with that, the Citrus Spinach Salad and Citrus Vinaigrette with all the salad toppings minus the Lime Grilled Chicken , and the Chicken Marsala with my fresh Silky Smooth Spinach Pasta, we were just about set! I just had my husband grab a dollar loaf of french bread on the way home. In almost an instant, we had fabulous Valentine’s dinner at home! Then I remembered I had leftover butter balls I made for an event, the stuff for my alcohol-free Sparkling White Grape Juice, left over strawberry filling I blended up to make Sour Non-Alchoholic Strawberry Daiquiris, lemons to slice for the water goblets, and boom, our dinner was just elevated to a 5-Star dining event without the high price and reservations, but full of fresh ingredients and the most flavorful meal we’ve had on a Valentine’s to date. Man, I have my work cut out for me to top this next year!

What I wasn’t expecting, was how freaking good those cookies I threw together were! Oh wow! I was in Raspberry Cheesecake Nirvana and I was eating a cookie!!! You don’t even know the pure blissful food-gasmic noises I was making eating that cookie. I wanted to eat my husband’s, but it look all my love and restraint I could muster to NOT eat his too! AND he is a slow, I mean S-L-O-W eater! Dang that was torture. The only solace I had was that I had enough cookies, filling, and frosting to have another tomorrow night along with our leftover from this dinner. Did I mention how much I LOVE leftover? I mean all the flavor, if not more, without the cooking and minimal cleanup!!! Win win win!!!

This was the Dark Chocolate Ganache Raspberry cake I made for a husband surprising his wife with on Valentine’s. It was so beautiful and the fresh raspberry filling I used in the dark chocolate cake layers, as well as to decorate and flavor the outside was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Decadent, rich, with the tang of cream cheese frosting, and the bright fresh sweet and sour of the raspberry was the perfect romantic combination to heighten all your senses. P.S. Did you know that besides sex, while eating we use all of our senses? How sensuous is that! No wonder food goes hand in hand with Valentine’s Day and any romantic date!

I had to show you the cookies I had all the leftover cutouts from, and my inspiration to decorate my Raspberry Cheesecake cookies. These are still my favorite, but you have to understand, I have a dickens of a time picking absolute favorites; to me everything depends on nuances and differences. These cookies for example, I couldn’t say which I my absolute favorite because they are both so dang good–one just happens to be more of a buttercream frosting, I call Cooked Frosting, and the other creamcheese, using my Perfect Ratio Dreamy Cream Cheese Frosting, both using different berries that are both so ridiculously good. So don’t ask me for all time favorites, unless you want a complete list with differing qualifications and my own custom sub-categories! Haha! Yes, I am THAT complicated when it comes too what I consider to be “favorites” and I have a ton of them!

Raspberry Cheesecake Sugar Cookie Cutouts

Have you ever thought what a Raspberry Cheesecake would taste like in a cookie form? These are it! Seemingly simple, the flavor will surprise you how good they are, and the all natural color you get from the raspberry fruit filling is only surpasses by its flavor.  Jazz them up with sanding sugar and sprinkles, and you have a masterpiece to indulge in by sight, smell, and taste. 

1 batch The Last Sugar Cookie Cutout Recipe You will Ever Need

1 piping bag (tips are optional for this look)

sanding sugar and sprinkles (optional)


1 recipe Perfect Ratio Dreamy Cream Cheese Frosting

1 recipe Raspberry Fruit Filling (below)


1) Let your cookies completely cool before frosting to avoid melted frosting. 

2) If you have chilled your frosting, let it come to room temperature, then beat with a stand mixer or hand mixer to regain creamy fluffiness.

3) Completely chill your Raspberry Cake Filling before using. 

4) Stripe your piping bag with the raspberry filling, twice, one on opposite sides of the bag. Sometimes it works better for me to fill the piping bag with cream cheese frosting before striping with the filling. 

5) I do not use a piping tip to achieve this look. Start the top, and pipe a round bubble of frosting, and as easing off your piping pressure, pull back and create a smooth shell shape. Continue in rows with the contours of the cookie cutout. 

6) OPTIONAL: Top with spangles and sanding sugar of your choice. 

Raspberry Fruit Filling

1 1/2 c fresh or frozen raspberries 

1/4 c lemon juice


1/2 c sugar

2 T corn starch, mixed in 1/2 c cold water


1) Add all the ingredients except the corn starch & water mix in a sauce pan on med heat. 
2) Mash all the raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice with a potato masher. As the mix heats up and starts to boil, the berries will give off more of their juices and the sugar will dissolve. 
3) After the mix has had a chance to heat through, the berries give off their juices, and the sugar is dissolved, pour the mix into a blender. Blend until smooth and even. 
4) Strain the juice back into the rinsed pan through a metal sieve using a metal spoon to circulate the seeds to get all the juice through. Discard the seeds.
5) Bring the seedless raspberry mix to a boil.
6) Add the corn starch and water mix, and let boil stirring constantly until thickened.
7) Let the fruit filling cool before adding to an airtight dish to chill in the refrigerator. DO not use to fill cakes or to add to frostings until completely chilled. 

Cakes Frosting Home Recipes

White Chocolate Razzleberry Cake


I have been in love with the Nothing Bunt Cake’s White Chocolate Raspberry since the first bite…but I was NOT in love with the prices, nor their store hours….AND the presentation left something to be desired with all the gorgeous barrel cakes I was wanting to make. I not only want memorable taste, but a memorable, stylish…GORGEOUS cake! This is WHY I started my trial-and-error search for my perfected copy cat recipe…and then I upgraded to Razzleberry after I used a Black Berry filling in my sealing reception wedding cake. SO amazing…and the color I get from this Razleberry mix when I used it to decorate my Perfect Ratio Dreamy Cream Cheese Frosting was also out of this world. It was a home run on all accounts!!!


I was first on my mission for upgraded box cake recipes back in 2013 when I dove in the deep end to make my own wedding cake, pictured to the right. I decided I was not interested in full on, from scratch cakes, because let’s face it, the dry ingredients are already in the perfect ratios, and you can often get box cake mixes on sale. I learned a ton since this cake, but don’t let the flaws like the bulging fool you; this cake tasted so good and I had sooo many compliments. I will post this recipe on a future post as well. I still think this is a beautiful cake, and my talented friend Marissa added the orchids in this ombre design so I could actually get ready for my own reception!

Now, my mom may be floored that her “pure-est” from childhood has given way to a “BOX” mix; you see I was OBSESSED with making stuff from scratch growing up, and it was such a big deal to me I ended up making a lot of dinners and my mom called me the “pure-est” because of this obsession. I’m sure she didn’t mind the help cooking, but I KNOW we butt heads quite a bit because I was, and still am, very independent, strong-willed, and not easily intimidated. So I made my own 5 tier wedding cake, and I had never made a cake more than one tier before. When I say I dive in the deep end and learn to swim or sink right away, I mean it. Remember I’m the “pure-est,” which mostly translates to independent and strong-willed and not much fear of “failure” and only want the highest quality of whatever I do. On a side note, there really is no such thing as “failure,” but rather learning experiences which I feel so strongly about that I plan to devote an entire post on that and redefining what “failure” really is.

I cannot recall where I first learned this box cake mix hack, but it because forever ingrained in my noggin every since my wedding cake in 2013. I added 1-2 more eggs than the box directions indicated, replaced the oil with 1/2 cup melted butter, added a box of instant pudding, and replaced the liquid with 1 c milk. Voila, instant upgrade and you would never know it was NOT completely from scratch. I have modified all my cakes using this base since. In fact, now I DETEST the airy, oily, almost non-existent texture you get from making a box cake from the original instructions…not to mention the lack of food-gasmic taste the basic box instructions yields. Never again! Never looked back since. NEVER made a box cake according the the box directions since.

The step that led to the apex of my recipe trial-and-error journey was the first time I made a bunt cake recipe that used sour cream. I made it for a pot-luck at a Real Estate Investment course my husband and I were taking. I got so many compliments. One of the coaches raved about it and would always ask when I was going to bring it again.  The next time I made my “doctored-up” box cake, I added sour cream, and it was a home run! The moistness on top of the amped up flavor and texture I already loved made this my new go-to box cake upgrade. Oh my oh my, if you have not tried this, you NEED to…AND you will never look back. It is that good.

Now where in the world did the Razzleberry come from? This is the most recent upgrade to this recipe, and there are three main contributors.

1) When my husband and I finally were ready to get sealed, which is the spiritual marriage ordinance in my faith and frankly it is more valuable to me than any civil ceremony could ever be (message me if you would like to know more), I knew I was going to make my cake for the reception again…then oscillated between doing what I did the first time, or once again diving in the deep end to upgrade the cake. I am sure you are getting the sense that there is no way I settled for what I did before, and definitely chose to further customize and upgrade my cake.  This customization also extended to the gum paste flowers I made which were stunning; I will definitely dedicate a post to that as well. Check out the pic below of my stunning cake I made below! I am so in love with it!

2) Once I decided I was not going with the same cake from our wedding reception, which was in So Cal–the sealing reception took place in Las Vegas where my husband is from so I justified a whole reception with the full nine-yards because we never had one for his side in his neck of the woods–I knew I wanted to coordinate the fruit filling with the deep magenta I had paired with the black and white and lime green accents for the colors in all the decorations I was reusing from the first reception; I was going for a Glam Retro Hollywood feel.  I started with the idea of a raspberry filling, but I just couldn’t commit because the last time I made my White Chocolate Raspberry Bunt Cake, the color was not the deep magenta color that I was going for to coordinate with bridesmaid dresses, flower girls dresses, chair sashes I sewed–foreshadowing another post…you are just getting to know me so well by now!! (((air kisses))) LOVE you! Yes, back to where the Razzleberry cake from. Because the sealing reception was late summer/early fall, there were gobs and gobs of gorgeous blackberries, and it hit me! Use a blackberry fruit filling! SO I did, and the color was magnificent. Check out the picture below.

Finally number 3) When I went to make a friend’s birthday cake, along with 3 Valentine’s cakes earlier this February, I didn’t have time to go to the store for only blackberries, but I did have a bag of organic frozen blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries I ended up using for the fruit filling, and it totally added another dimension of flavor I had not used before…and LOVED it!  Hence the White Chocolate Razzleberry Cake was born!

Prepping your pans and my Quick-Release Cake Pan Prep Mx.

Now let’s talk prepping your cake pans before we get to the recipe. I cannot stress how vital this is…vital to NOT losing all your time, effort, and gorgeous, high quality ingredients to a mass of torn cake because a good chunk of it is sticking to the pan. SO NOT PRETTY AND SO AGGRAVATING! Growing up, it was the “grease and flour” step of making a cake. Now I just keep a pre-made mix of flour, lard, and oil in a 1:1:1 ratio to make my Quick-Release Cake Prep Mix (yes, yes it’s long winded, but that’s Bloomy’s Dictionary sometimes). It is important to use a vegetable oil, or any oil that has a high smoke temperature. Olive oils have a lower smoke temperature which means it will start to smoke or burn at lower temperatures than other oils; since you are baking cakes at high temperatures, you do not want smoke ruining the high quality flavors you worked so hard to put in your cakes. I will keep a mix of 1 c. flour, 1 c. oil, and 1 c. lard in an airtight container in my refrigerator. Being it works in this ratio, you can use the same measurements of all three ingredients in any amount. There have been times I have been in a pinch, and needed to whip up 1/2 cup or 1/3 cup mixes of this if I am out of my pre-made mix in the fridge. You will prep your cake pans and bunt cake pans with this mix. Or use the traditional grease and flour method to prep your pans before you add any batter, however, if you take my word for it, this old-school method is a lot more time consuming and can be a lot messier! I use a baster to slater on my Quick-Release Cake Prep Mix; BUT you don’t want it pooling or gobbing on your pan. A nice even coat is sufficient. I also ALWAYS use parchment paper on the bottom of my pans, and for time sake I prefer the precut ones. I will use my quick geometry teacher skillz and can cut out a free-handed circle of any size pretty quickly by folding a section of parchment paper into quarters, and then eighths, and again if not too thick, and essentially cut half the length of my circle pan (half the diameter, or half the radius for y’all who remember your geometry).

Marbling You Cake Layers

If you want to marble your cake with the fruit filling: 1) use half the batter, 2) dollop 2-4 T of fruit filling in 3-5 spoonful drops, 3) use a butter knife to swirl, but not fully mix the fruit filling, 4) add the remaining batter and repeat dollops of fruit filling and swirls with a butter knife half way down, and 5) level your batter in the pan (knock the cake pan on the counter top to get rid of air bubbles) before baking.

*For a 3″ layer in a 6″ round pan, use 3 cups of batter, and bake for 35-40 min.

*For a 2″ layer in a 6″ round pan, use 2 1/4 cups batter, and bake for 28-36 min.

*For a 3″ layer in a 8″ round pan, use 5 cups of batter, and bake for 35-40 min.

*For a 2″ layer in a 8″ round pan, use 4 cups batter, and bake for 28-36 min.

*For a bunt cake, use the number of cups your bunt cake pan is sized by. If you overfill your bunt cake pan, it will overflow in the oven and create a huge mess to clean up…and ani’t no one got time for that! Don’t forget to grease and flour your bunt cake pan.

To build this barrel layer cake, I used 3-2″ thick 6″ layers of marbled White Chocolate Razzleberry Cake. I filled the cake with my Perfect Ratio Dreamy Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting (gourmet flavor cream cheese frosting stable enough to fill, frost, and pipe beautiful cakes), and the Razzleberry Filling (recipe below) using a buttercream dam to prevent bleeding and bludging. I also used gold sparkle powder, limited edition Valentine’s sprinkles from Sweetapolia, these gold metallic rod sprinkles, Lindt White Chocolate truffles, and gold lustre dust to color the “Happy Birthday” and piped accents. I used this tip to pipe the 5 dollops on top. 

In fact, I cannot tell you how fun it was to parade this cake (well, there was no other way to describe carrying this cake in a restaurant, trust me) through The Cheesecake Factory! I mean getting all the ooooh’s, and aaaah’s, and compliments, and all eyes on this cake that I did at THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY is a feat in itself! AND they didn’t even get the privilege to taste this masterpiece! I assure you, it tastes as good as it looks, if not better! I mean look at the gorgeous birthday girl’s reaction to the cake! A gorgeous cake for a gorgeous momma!

White Chocolate Razzleberry Cake

Nothing Bunt Cake…I don’t think so. This is White Chocolate Raspberry done right…aka White Chocolate Razzleberry Cake! Love those well-known bunt cakes but not the price? Or wished they looked more elegant? This recipe not only taste BETTER than those bunt cakes, but you can CUSTOM design your own masterpiece with a few simple steps. You are not limited to making this cake in a bunt cake pan, but have the flexibility to do so if you would like.  Check out the Perfect Ratio Cream Cheese Buttercream Recipe that is easy to decorate with AND tastes amazing with this cake. NOTE: I always use wet (but wrung out) cake baking straps on all my pans, and I wrap up the baked and cooled cake layers I am not immediately using in plastic wrap, and freeze for up to 3 weeks. Freezing cakes like this keeps them moist when thawed and ready to use.

1 white box cake mix

4 eggs

1 package white chocolate instant pudding

1/2 c sour cream


1 c milk

1/2 c melted butter

1 to 1 1/2 c white chocolate chips, optional

3/4 to 1 c Razzleberry Fruit Filling, recipe follows

1) Pre-heat the over to 325 degrees F; bake your cakes low and slow (may need to add to baking times–use a toothpick or cake tester to see if done in the middle). 

2) Prepare your layer cake pans AND bunt cake with my Quick-Release Cake Prep Mix(see recipe in post) mix or grease your pan with lard (or butter) and dust with flour, and a parchment liner on the bottom(optional but i do not risk all my efforts to possibly having the cake stick to the pan).  **Even if you have a non-stick pan, it is worth greasing your pans with lard/butter and dusting with flour, or just having a batch of the Quick-Release Cake Prep Mix (see recipe in post).

3) Mix all the ingredients except the white chocolate chips and fruit filling in a stand mixer, or a large bowl and hand mixer until smooth. It will be thick. Do not over mix

4) Stir in the white chocolate chips and mix by hand with a spatula or spoon. 

5) Divide your batter between your prepared cake pans. If you want to marble your cake with the fruit filling: A) use half the batter, B) dollop 2-4 T of fruit filling in 3-5 spoonful drops, C) use a butter knife to swirl, but not fully mix the fruit filling, D) add the remaining batter and repeat dollops of fruit filling and swirls with a butter knife half way down, and E) level your batter in the pan (knock the cake pan on the counter top to get rid of air bubbles) before baking. 

*For a 3″ layer in a 6″ round pan, use 3 cups of batter, and bake for 35-40 min.

*For a 2″ layer in a 6″ round pan, use 2 1/4 cups batter, and bake for 28-36 min.

*For a 3″ layer in a 8″ round pan, use 5 cups of batter, and bake for 35-40 min.

*For a 2″ layer in a 8″ round pan, use 4 cups batter, and bake for 28-36 min.

*For a bunt cake, use the number of cups your bunt cake pan is sized by. If you overfill your bunt cake pan, it will overflow in the oven and create a huge mess to clean up…and ani’t no one got time for that! Don’t forget to grease and flour your bunt cake pan. 

NOTE: The picture below left shows my dollops of fruit filling before I take a butter knife and swirl to get the marble effect with the cake layers. The pic below right shows what my marbled batter looks like before I put it in the oven. 

BAKING TIP: If you are baking 3″ layers with an 8″ pan or larger, use a metal rose piping pin inverted in the middle of the pan to get heat and bake the center of the cake evenly with the outside; or use a baking core. I do this with 2″ layers for pan 10″ or larger as well. 



Razzleberry Fruit Filling

3 c fresh or frozen mix of blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries 

1/2 c lemon juice


1 c sugar

4 T corn starch, mixed in 1 c cold water


1) Add all the ingredients except the corn starch & water mix in a sauce pan on med heat. 
2) Mash all the berries, sugar, and lemon juice with a potato masher. As the mix heats up and starts to boil, the berries will give off more of their juices and the sugar will dissolve. 
3) After the mix has had a chance to heat through, the berries give off their juices, and the sugar is dissolved, pour the mix into a blender. Blend until smooth and even. 
4) Strain the juice back into the rinsed pan through a metal sieve using a metal spoon to circulate the seeds to get all the juice through. Discard the seeds.
5) Bring the seedless berry mix to a boil.
6) Add the corn starch and water mix, and let boil stirring constantly until thickened.
7) Let the fruit filling cool before adding to an airtight dish to chill in the refrigerator. DO not use to fill cakes or to add to frostings until completely chilled. 
8) To fill a cake: frost the bottom layer with an even coating of frosting, pipe a frosting “dam” around the boarder of the frosted cake, then dollop a general tablespoon or two depending on the layer size, and spread evenly to the dam before topping with another layer of cake; and repeat until the top layer.

Note: Let’s get real. I love to cook once and use multiple times. This recipe is modified from using a full 48 oz. bag of organic mixed berries consisting of blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries from my local bulk store. 

Quick-Release Cake Prep Mix

In a 1:1:1 ratio, mix flour, lard or shortening, and vegetable oil. Mix until evenly incorporated, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. For example, I use 1 cup of each ingredient to mix up and have on hand to prepare all my cake pans before adding batter, and then baking. Cakes will come out clean and easily, with no sticking. I coat my pans with this mix using a silicone baster brush. I also add a cut parchment paper to the bottom of any flat bottomed cake pan I use.

Frosting Home Recipes

Cooked Frosting


Cooked Frosting: frosting that will beat any boring buttercream’s butt, total KO with one bite! Frankly this is the only frosting I knew or made growing up, and every time I make it people rave about it. All my mom knew is that she got it from a roommate in college, and it was called Cooked Frosting.  I have looked everywhere for this recipe online and cannot find it. I am pretty sure it has a proper name unbeknownst to me.  Just like a rose called by any other name, I really don’t give a flying flip what it is called because it is the BOMB when it comes to frosting, and if you have never tried it, dive down that rabbit hole and give it a go! I promise, you will come back to it for cookies, cakes…hey, even a stale graham cracker can taste like the most exquisite cookie with this frosting.  I have used my fruit cake fillings to stripe this or mix it in to add another depth and dimension of flavor.  The standard of vanilla and almond extract is delightful. I also love adding coconut extract in addition…or Creme Bouquet or lemon…it truly is a magnificent canvas to frosting masterpiece to flourish with any flavor you love. 


Pictured above you see this frosting on my Valentine’s Cookies 2/5/2019 where the frosting by itself, striped with my mixed berry cake fruit filling, and the fruit filling fully mixed in all with sprinkles. SOOOO delicious! You also see it colored with green and yellow food coloring to get a light chartreuse color with one of Wilton’s Christmas sprinkles. You also see it in the first Valentine’s Day I celebrated with my now husband who I was dating. Truth be told, that weekend we went exclusive and my husband has since confessed that is when he knew he loved me…or did he love the frosting? Wink wink. It’s all good, and the rest is history as we say. The cupcakes with the frosting almost neon bright colored was celebrating my 33rd birthday…I think…you know you hit 42 and you think you’d never forget things and all of a sudden you find yourself forgetting EVERYTHING….ya, I wish I wrote more things down…but I digress. I LOVE SweetTarts so that is what I put on the cupcakes to pump up the volume and the inspiration to the color theme for that party. These were a hit! This frosting on a rich almost fudge cake is one of my weaknesses. Hence the heart cupcakes for the hub’s and my first Valentine’s together. Whether that move was to impress my man or to indulge myself, my lips are sealed…with a mouthful of this frosting! Ha!

This is the recipe my  mom hand wrote and oddly I don’t remember if she gave to me or if it came with me after I was on my own. BUT, that is neither her nor there and I will go with the first option. You can see her hand writing versus mine at the wee bottom so I could glue the backside down in my recipe binder. Of course the minimal directions are easy for me to follow because I have made this so many times I could do it in my sleep. Oh, that’s exaggerating a tad, but let’s just say this is how I prefer my recipes and all my well loved ones are just like this. Minimal, and mostly in my head.  

So on to decoding this recipe and give explicit directions. No, no, not THAT explicit…the explicit that is CLEAR, understandable, ya know what I mean? Before we go there, a couple things always stood out when I was learning to make Cooked Frosting which I feel helps in making this particular frosting because it is very different to what most may envision or expect when making frosting. My mom always said to use the cheapest shortening you can get. I generally go with the white store brand version of shortening. You end up making the frosting in 3 parts: an egg white mix, a powder sugar/lard mix, and the pastry dough part. I always have the egg white part in my stand mixer, the power sugar in a large bowl, and the pastry part in a pan on the stove. My mom always said the powder sugar part looks all crumbly and dry, you add add the powder sugar mix and the pastry dough mix in thirds to the egg white mix and whip it up on high in between each added third. She also said if it looks weird and like it will not actually be fluffy frosting, just keep mixing on high and it will fluff up almost magically. I have only felt that way a couple times, and my impressions are that those times were when I first started making it in my early teen, and after college when I had not made it for a number of years while going to college.

This is what the pastry part of the frosting looks like before you add it in thirds with the sugar mix to the egg white mix. I’m pretty sure the “cooked” part of the name comes from this element, and I never really thought about it until now. The cooked part is like a pate a choux used to make eclairs, profiteroles, croquembouches…basically a light pastry. It doesn’t take long and I have always started by melting the butter and adding the milk to heat up, and sprinkling the flour on top and mushing it around with a silicone spatula on med heat until it all comes together like the picture.

I will use a dough blender and cutter to start mixing the powder sugar, salt, and shortening. I end up using my hand to mix it until it is evenly fine and will stick together in my fist like fine wet sand. This is when I know I am done.

It whips up beautifully white and delicious! It is soft and easy to frost right away, and when chilled it stiffens quite a bit. I keep it in an air tight container in the refrigerator in between uses. It does make a lot, but I have never measured the amount because it doesn’t last very long. If you want to frost a cake or cookies and it is fully chilled, I set it out until it softens to almost room temperature. Also, on a side note, if I want to use part of the batch using a different flavoring, I will just add it to the amount I need and add other flavoring to taste. I find this gives me the flexibility I want so the main batch is more of my blank canvas and I modify as needed, as the wind blows, or according to my mood. However, the basic recipe with the vanilla and almond extract is delightful on its own.

Cooked Frosting

This is frosting is unlike any buttercream you may be used to; it is fluffier, feels lighter, and full of flavor without the sickening sweetness other frosting recipes offer, or the bakery type buttercreams that leave a shortening film in your mouth. It is simply amazing on its own, or kick it up with flavoring with fruit fillings or flavorings to add complexity and different flavor notes. It is fantastic on cookie cut outs, cupcakes, and cakes alike. It is initially made in 3 parts, which are combined for this lovely, fluffy, snow white frosting. Enjoy!

the sugar mix:

1 1/2 c. shortening

6 c. powdered sugar

1 1/2 tsp. salt

the pastry mix:

3 T. butter

6 T. flour

6 T. milk

the egg white mix:

3 egg whites

6 tsp. vanilla

3 capfuls almond extract


1) For the sugar mix: mix all the ingredients in this section together until it is evenly incorporated in even crumbles.  

2) For the pastry mix: in a pan on medium heat, melt the butter, add the milk, and sprinkle on the flour. Use a silicone spatula to mix until the dough forms and comes clean from the pan all together.

3) For the egg white mix: in a stand mixer, add the egg whites and extracts and beat on high until fluffy, but no peaks forming (Tip: use this time to use your hand to evenly mix the sugar mix while the mixer runs). 

4) Add a third of the sugar mix and a third of the pastry mix to the egg mix, and beat on high until all combined. Repeat 2 more time to use up the remaining 2 thirds of the sugar and pastry mixes.

5) Mix the frosting on high until white and fluffy. If it doesn’t not look fluffy at all, just turn up the mixer speed and mix until fluffy. 

6) Store in the refrigerator in an air tight container. Let soften to room temperature when you want to spread on cookies or cakes.