Carrot Cake-Pumpkin Cheesecake Extravaganza! (What?!?)

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My mom is the best. No question.

For my birthday she made the most ridiculously delicious and decadent cake I’ve ever had… She named it the Carrot Cake-Pumpkin Cheesecake Extravaganza!! Haha! The top and bottom layers, her famous carrot cake. The middle layer, a perfectly smooth and impressively sturdy pumpkin cheesecake. And the icing… Don’t even get me started on the MAPLE cream cheese icing.

Drooling yet?

Since my mother is also a saint, she’s agreed to let me share her recipe!! So here it is (just in time for Thanksgiving if you start RIGHT. NOW!) It’s really 3 recipes… Bonus!! But she also has instructions for how to put it all together!

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Click here for a PDF copy of the recipe to add to your cookbook 🙂

Enjoy! And let me know how it turns out if you make it! Even if not for Thanksgiving, you’ve got to try this recipe before the end of the season!

Cinnamon Applesauce

It’s Thanksgiving week! And that means that a lot of time will be spent in kitchens across the nation this week.

This year, Will & I will be with his family, and I’m so excited to share the holiday with them and learn about all of their Thanksgiving traditions (and recipes!) I decided that since 1. we will be traveling and can’t tote a ton and 2. my mountain apples are needing to be used, I’d make some applesauce to add to the feast. A sweet treat that’s always much better fresh than from a can 🙂

Cinnamon Applesauce

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Apples (7 or 8 Gala, Pink Ladies or Winesaps would be my choice… They’re all naturally sweet, soft, and excellent for cooking)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon (or 5 shakes if you’re really precise like me)

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Here’s what you’ll do:

  1. Peel & dice the apples into little cubes. The smaller you chop, the less cook time you’ll need.
  2. Add your apples, water, brown sugar, & cinnamon to a saucepan.
  3. Boil, baby, boil.
  4. Once you have your water at a steady boil, turn it all the way down to low, put the lid on, and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Be sure that all of your apples are in the water so that they can soak up the yumminess and so they won’t dry out.
  5. Remove the lid for about 5 minutes after simmering to allow some of the liquid to evaporate. (When you mash the apples, more liquid will escape, so don’t worry about it getting dry… but DO NOT drain.)
  6. Use a potato masher (or a fork does the trick too) and smash up your apples.
  7. Ta-da! Once you’ve got the consistency you like (I like it a little chunky) allow your applesauce to cool before refrigerating!

Bonus… it’s delicious hot or cold!

Enjoy this easy family favorite! And if you need some more apple inspiration, check out my Easy Apple Crisp!

Big Ol’ Pumpkin Roll Baking SUCCESS!

I had to. I couldn’t leave it at ugly (here’s the story of the ugly pumpkin roll). I had to try again to make a beautiful (read: presentable-looking) pumpkin roll… And I did it! LOOK AT THAT SWIRL!

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You know how?? By following the recipe. People, recipes work. Just do yourself a favor and follow them. I used Libby’s Pumpkin Roll, the classic, and it was really not too tough. Just be seriously careful when you’re rolling it in the towel. Last time since we had more of a bread than cake, it fell apart. But this time, the spongy cake rolled beautifully and left us with a pumpkin roll worthy of a Friendsgiving feast!

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So now it’s all wrapped up, looking like a burrito, and ready for the party!! And I’m feeling pretty proud that I turned my baking fail into a baking success!! 🙂

Big Ol’ Pumpkin Roll Baking Fail

I would love to tell you that I successfully made a beautiful pumpkin roll with my friend Chelsea last night. I would love to tell you that it looked just like this:

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But, alas, I believe in honesty.

And Chelsea & I made the world’s ugliest pumpkin roll. Haha! It was really so funny and even more importantly so. much. fun.

I needed a baking night with a gal pal, and the hubbies enjoyed it too! They watched BuzzFeed videos on the couch as we made a mess in the kitchen. And I mean a mess. I should’ve taken a photo of THAT. We baked and baked and thought we were making the world’s prettiest pumpkin roll (it did come out of the oven beautifully), but then when we rolled it, the thing TOTALLY fell apart.

Here’s our ugly pumpkin roll:

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Hahahaha! I think it’s SO funny! That poor little thing. We oooo-ed and ahhh-ed, and then OHHH NOOO-ed and he didn’t even see it coming. Haha!

He was no Apple Crisp or Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecake… That’s for sure. (Those were success stories.)

In little rolly’s defense though, he is DELICIOUS. Soft pumpkin bread with maple cream cheese icing on the inside. There’s really not a thing in the world wrong with him except for that outer appearance.

But I still might try again tomorrow night to see if I can make a prettier product… I am supposed to take it to Friendsgiving this weekend, after all…

{Update: I tried again and there’s a success story too!!}

Easiest Apple Crisp

Whether you’re a pro baker or just a fall-enthusiast, this is the most wonderful dessert. And darn easy too!

All you need:

  • 6-7 Apples (duh…) – I chose my beautiful Pink Ladies from our mountain trip. Fresh mountain apples can’t be beat. And these are my favorite variety to make applesauce with too.
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick of butter
  • Granola – I prefer Trader Joe’s Maple Pecan granola because why not add some maple syrup to your oats??
  • Cinnamon to taste (so if you’re like me… lots of cinnamon)

All you have to do:

Cut your apples into little chunks.

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Pour the apple chunks into a pre-buttered 9×13 baking dish. (Add cinnamon.)

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Add you flour, brown sugar, & butter in a bowl. (Add more cinnamon.)

Pour the clumpy (yes, clumpy on purpose) mixture over your apple chunks. (Add granola.)

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Bake for 30 minutes at 350.

Scoop that ice cream… Voila!

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I prefer more Apple than Crisp, but if you disagree try adding more flour and butter to make it more like a dump cake. I hope you enjoy it!! Nothing says fall like apple desserts… except maybe pumpkin desserts… 🙂