Sicilian Almond Lemon Cake

Sicilian Almond Lemon Cake

Sicilian Almond Lemon Cake

adapted from Mary Ann Esposito Ciao Italia

Equipment: 9-inch spring form pan, buttered, lined with buttered parchment paper and set aside.



  • 3 large lemons, washed and left whole (Meyer lemons preferred)
  • 2 3/4 cups finely ground blanched or sliced almonds (The easiest way to measure the almonds is by weight. You will need 3/4 of a pound or 300 grams.
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Confectioner’s sugar


  • 1 cup or more of confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fiore di Sicilia extract (mix 1/2 orange extract and 1/2 vanilla extract)
  • a few drops of milk



Place lemons in a pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook just under the boil for about 45 minutes. Drain and when cool, trim the ends, cut them in half widthwise and remove the seeds. Chop the lemons and place in a food processor with 1/2 cup of the sugar and process until smooth. Transfer mixture to a fine mesh strainer set over and a bowl and strain the lemon mixture.

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Divide blanched peeled almonds into three batches and whirl them in a food processor until they are powdered. Combine the batches and set them aside. (Or: buy fine almond flour at the supermarket!)

Beat the egg yolks and remaining 1 cup of sugar in a medium bowl until they are pale yellow and frothy looking, and then beat in the drained lemon mixture and the powdered almonds. Stir in the salt and baking powder.

In a separate bowl with clean beaters, whip the whites into soft peaks. Fold the beaten whites into the lemon mixture and pour the batter into the pan.

Bake the cake for about 45 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out dry. Be careful not to let the cake brown too much; it should be golden brown.

Cool slightly then release sides of the spring pan, remove the sides, and let the cake cool. Dust it with confectioner’s sugar or make a confectioner’s glaze with:


Mix all glaze ingredients until the glaze consistency forms then drizzle over cooled cake.

Limoncello Cheesecake

Limoncello Cheesecake

Limoncello Cheesecake


  • 12 oz lemon thin cookies
  • 4 tbsp butter


  • 5 8oz bricks cream cheese
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup limoncello
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • zest of 1 lemon

Italian meringue

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon extract


Preheat oven to 325°F/160°C.

Butter a 10″ springform pan.

For Crust:

Place cookies in food processor and process to light crumbs. Drizzle in melted butter and process until well-mixed. Spread crumbs evenly over bottom of pan and press well.

For Filling:

Cream sugar and cream cheese together. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Add limoncello, lemon juice, heavy cream, and zest. Mix well.

Pour into prepared crust.

Bake about 45-55 minutes or until set. Turn off oven, open door, and allow to slowly cool. When fully cooled, refrigerate at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.

For Italian Meringue:

Place 4 room-temperature egg whites in mixing bowl. Add lemon juice and slowly start to whip.

Meanwhile, place 1 cup of sugar in a small saucepan with 1/4 cup water and 1 tbsp lemon extract. Bring to boil without stirring and cook to 240°F/115°C.

Continue whipping egg whites until soft peaks form.

Slowly drizzle hot syrup down the side of the bowl, incorporating all of the syrup.

Increase speed to high and whip until meringue has reached stiff peaks and is completely cool and shiny.

To assemble:

Remove cheesecake from pan and brush off crumbs.

Frost with meringue and decorate with lemon nonpareils, if desired.



Jello Cake

Christmas Jello Cake

Jello Cake
Jello Cake

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 pkg raspberry Jello
  • 1 box lime Jello
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 container Cool Whip

Bake cake as directed on box in 2 well-greased and floured 9″ pans. Remove from oven and cool in pans 15 minutes.

Poke layers with fork at 1/2″ intervals. Do not remove from pans.

Dissolve each package of jello separately in 1 cup of boiling water. Pour raspberry flavor over 1 layer and lime flavor over the other.

Chill four hours.

Unmold 1 layer onto serving platter and top with 1 cup of Cool Whip. Place second layer on top and frost the entire cake with the remaining Cool Whip.

Decorate with gumdrops rolled and cut into holly.


Bourbon Glazed Pound Cake with Peaches

Bourbon Glazed Pound Cake with Peaches

Bourbon Glazed Pound Cake with Peaches

adapted from Dol Miles



  • 2 cups (460 grams) butter, softened
  • 2¾ cups (573 grams) granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3¾ cups (525 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon (0.5 gram) ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon (0.75 gram) kosher salt
  • ½ cup (123 grams) whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) vanilla extract
  • 2 peaches, sliced, and soaked in bourbon
  • demerara sugar
  • Bourbon Glaze (recipe follows)


Let ingredients come to room temperature for at least 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325° F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large bowl, beat butter with a mixer at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar, and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined after each addition.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, nutmeg, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Stir in zest and vanilla. Spoon batter into prepared pan.

Drain peaches and place them on top of the cake. Sprinkle with demerara sugar

Bake until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Spoon Bourbon Glaze over cake.

Bourbon Glaze

Makes about 1½ cups


  • 1 cup (210 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (118 grams) bourbon
  • 7 tablespoons (105 grams) butter


In a small saucepan, combine sugar, bourbon, and butter. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until butter melts and sugar dissolves.

Vanilla Cake - For Two

Vanilla Cake - For Two

Vanilla Cake - For Two

  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • scant half-cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 6″ cake pan.

Cream butter in mixer. Add sugar and cream together for about 5 minutes. Add egg and mix about 30 seconds.

Mix vanilla with buttermilk. Mix flour with salt and baking soda. Add the flour and liquid alternately, starting and finishing with the flour. Just mix well enough to get everything together.

Spread into prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes.

Basic Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 oz butter
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake for Two

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake for Two

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake for Two
Chocolate Sour Cream Cake for Two

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp Kahlua

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 6″ cake pan.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy – about 4 minutes. Add egg and mix about 20 seconds. Add sour cream, vanilla, and Kahlua.

Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Stir into liquids and mix well.

Pour into pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until pick comes out clean.

I split the layer and made a simple chocolate cream cheese frosting with a bit of Kahlua added.

Lemon Blackberry Pound Cake

Lemon Blackberry Pound Cake

Lemon Blackberry Pound Cake
Lemon Blackberry Pound Cake


  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 pint blackberries

lemon glaze

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 325º F and butter and flour a 9×5 loaf pan.

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together ricotta, lemon juice, vanilla, and zest.

Cream butter and sugar until very light and fluffy – about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time – about 20 seconds per egg.

Add the dry ingredients in three additions and the ricotta in two beginning and ending with the dry. Do not over-mix.

Pour half the batter into the prepared pan. Dot with half the blackberries, pushing them in a bit. Pour the rest of the batter in the pan and poke the remaining blackberries into the batter, making sure they are covered.

Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool.

Make glaze.

Mix lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan and cook until slightly thickened. Cool.

Poke cake with skewer and then brush glaze over cake until it’s completely absorbed. Top with powdered sugar, slice, and enjoy!

Fig and Polenta Cake

Fig and Polenta Cake

Fig and Polenta Cake
Fig and Polenta Cake

adapted from Bon Appetit



  • 4 large egg yolks2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup grappa
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal; do not use instant)
  • 1/2 cup diced dried Calimyrna figs (about 6)
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds


Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 8-inch-diameter cake pan. Beat egg yolks and sugar in large bowl. Bring milk, grappa, and salt to boil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Gradually whisk hot milk mixture into egg yolk mixture. Return to saucepan. Whisk in polenta. Whisk over medium-high heat until mixture thickens and begins to bubble, about 8 minutes.

Fold figs, raisins, pine nuts, and fennel seeds into polenta mixture. Pour into prepared cake pan.

Bake cake until golden brown, set in center, and beginning to pull away from sides of pan, about 40 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes. Cut around pan sides and invert cake onto platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Pineapple Upside Down Cake


  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 lg can pineapple


  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. rum
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a round 9” cake pan.

Make topping: Melt butter and pour into pan. Sprinkle brown sugar on top. Place drained pineapple rings on top of sugar.

Make batter: Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Cream butter with sugars. Beat in egg, vanilla, rum, and sour cream. Add flour and juice in 2 additions.

Spoon the batter over the pineapple, spreading it evenly.

Bake until cake is golden and a toothpick comes out clean, about 35 minutes.

Chocolate Cherry Pound Cake

Chocolate Cherry Pound Cake

Chocolate Cherry Pound Cake
Chocolate Cherry Pound Cake

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup boiling hot water
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 or so tablespoons cherry syrup
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 jar Amarena cherries, halved

Chocolate Glaze:

  • 3 ounces semi sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Chocolate Pound Cake:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 9 x 5 inch (23 x 13 cm) loaf pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper.

In a small bowl mix the cocoa powder into the boiling water until the cocoa powder has dissolved and is smooth. Let cool to room temperature.

In a separate bowl, sift or whisk the cake flour with the baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar, cherry syrup, and vanilla extract and beat, on medium high speed, until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl as needed. Beat in the cooled cocoa mixture. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture (in two additions) along with the milk (in one addition) and mix only until combined.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for about 55 to 65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake just comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 15-20 minutes. Run a spatula or knife around the inside of the pan and then remove the cake from the pan, peel off the parchment paper, re-invert, and cool completely on a wire rack.

Chocolate Glaze:

Melt the chocolate, butter, and corn syrup in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and let cool until it thickens to pouring consistency. Pour the glaze over the top of the cooled cake, letting the glaze flow down the sides. Well wrapped, this cake will keep four to five days at room temperature or it can be frozen for a couple of months.