Coconut Chocolate Tart

When you get to a place where you understand that love and belonging, your worthiness, is a birthright and not something you have to earn, anything is possible
— Brené Brown
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I believe I say this with each recipe, but dang, this gf/df coconut chocolate tart is making mama proud this week!

As I (think?) mentioned, your girl has joined the dairy free club! I always insisted that I just ate too much whenever I was getting sick from ice cream, pizza,  lattes ... but guess what? I stopped consuming dairy and BOOM! my stomach issues are almost nonexistent!

I'm sure that story was so whatever to y'all, but sometimes I just need a disclaimer, okay?!

I'm currently transitioning my life to a place that I want, not what annnyyyyone else wants, and it feels SO damn good. See that quote up at the top? Yeah, we're all worthy of every single happiness and we need to stop tricking our minds to think otherwise. It breaks my heart that I was really self-sabotaging, I was telling myself I had to do x, try y, be z all for every. one. else. Then these past few months I said screw that, get your booty back into school because you want to, make a decision for your career that's going to make you happy, join that kickboxing gym you've had your eye on for months because it'll make you feel like a badass (and hopefully become one soon enough!). I was tired of letting my anxiety control my life - no one's letting that happen but me!

Et voilá! My (soon to be) M.S. in Nutrition + my degree in baking + my LOVE for sugar has all brought me here. All brought y'all this recipe! I'm honestly so in love. Like a few notches below my love for my pup and husband (...yes, you see who I put first there, oops!). First off, we all love a good graham cracker crust. This one happens to have some coconut sugar, maca powder (hellloooo salted caramel taste and energy boost) and it's all combined with coconut oil! How could it not be a winner? And what else - uhh how about a layer of toasted coconut then topped with a dairy free chocolate filling. AH I need a slice right now, please. The filling is so dang simple: coconut milk + 70-80% dark chocolate + coconut oil. Add some coarse salt after it has set and THERE YOU HAVE IT! Something so beautiful.

With the help of my amazing husband, who tried everything I asked/begged him to, the perfect gluten free/dairy free coconut chocolate tart was born! Ohhhh and is it a beauty. It is just one of those desserts that I know will become a staple because 1. it's quick, 2. minimal and clean ingredients, 3. it will satisfy all of those dietary restrictions, and 4. IT'S SO FREAKING GOOD! I'm not kidding. I mean I just screamed that at you, didn't I?!

Decided to go light on the rambling today because, I mean, you need to just get to the photos, to the recipe, get yourself a bit covered in coconut and chocolate, and have yourself a sweet evening! You can thank me in about 4 hours when the tart is finished and you're on your third piece ;)

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crust ingredients

Graham Cracker Crumbs—5.5 oz, or 1 ½ C

Coconut Sugar—1.75 oz, or 1/3 C

Coconut Oil, melted—5.5 oz, or ½ C

Maca Powder—1 tsp

 

Coconut, toasted—1 oz, or 1/3 C

 

process

Preheat your oven to 350˚F.

Spread the coconut onto a sheet tray and toast for ~10 minutes.

You want the coconut to be a nice, golden brown.

While coconut is toasting, combine the crumbs, coconut sugar and maca powder (optional!) in a medium bowl.

Melt the coconut oil over low heat. Once melted, pour over the crumb mixture.

Mix to combine.

This should be a wet-like-sand consistency.

Press the crust into a tart shell—pie shell also works fine!

Bake in the already preheated oven for 8-12 minutes, until slightly more golden.

Allow to cool completely before sprinkling the coconut flakes evenly in the bottom of the crust.

Store wrapped in freezer until ready to use.

 

tart filling ingredients

Coconut Milk—10 oz, or 1 ¼ C

Chocolate, 70%—5 oz

Coconut Oil, melted—2.75 oz, or ¼ C

 

process

Scale out all of your ingredients separately.

Melt the coconut milk over low-medium heat.

Once it begins to simmer, pour over your chocolate (chopped, in a heat proof bowl).

Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.

Stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until the milk/chocolate mixture is homogenous and smooth.

Add in the coconut oil, stir.

Once all of the ingredients are completely combined and smooth, pour into your prepped graham crust shell.

Place in refrigerator for at least 3 hours so the chocolate filling can set.

Once set, sprinkle some coarse salt on top, slice and enjoy!

 

Bon Appétit!

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Orange Cornmeal Cakes with PB Chocolate Buttercream

After a much needed break (AKA my job was basically forcing me to take daily afternoon naps…ask Roberto, he’s come home to me asleep more times than I can count), KBB is back in action!

While I knew that this incredible baking job that I started back in November would be hella rewarding, I did not think that would still be struggling this bad with the 2:30am wake-up time! We allllll know that this girl LOVES the morning, I mean, I was waking up to do marathon training runs at 4am last summer, but to actually think at 4am is a totally different ballgame!

Anyways! No one really needs to hear me rambling on and on and on…

I hope that everyone had an eventful few months—even though January-March have never been my favorite of the year, at least they’re just about over and we can focus on the best ¾ of the year!!

Hi Spring! Hi Summer! Hi Fall!

So, as we get into the most lovely, colorful, fully in bloom months, I have learned that here, in Atlanta, Spring isn’t exactly what I’m used to. To me, it’s rain, then SO MANY FLOWERS, cool mornings, mild days…but oh no, it was 85˚ this week…it’s still March. Ahh, at least there’s already beautiful tulips all over! Another plus to this wildly early summertime weather? Farmer’s Markets! They all begin April 1st! What?! YES!

The bakery I work at is all about dem markets, meaning 3 days a week you can see us Lil’ Tarts representin’ our baked goodies around the city! Woo! Bring on busy season from April-December, I’m ready—insert muscle emoji here.

Oh…but this isn’t just a blog where I chit chat for 3 pages, it’s actually about baking. And recipes. And slightly interesting content. So, while I mayyyyy have been MIA (or asleep) for that past few months, at least I came out of hibernation with this bomb recipe—a not-too-sweet cake with a surprise filling and an irresistible frosting!

As (I hope) you all know, my cornbread is amazing. I’m not one to toot my own horn, but, like, it’s so good that I normally eat about half of it, mainly sneaking bites so that I don’t get that girl, are you going to leave me any?!?! look from my darling husband! Now this may be the next best idea I’ve had aside to my cornbread—turning it into CUPCAKES! Whaattttt. Dessert cornbread you say?!

As it warms up, my sweet tooth goes down ever so slightly just because I’m too hot to consume anything that’s not butter lettuce, a green smoothie, popsicles and cold, cold pizza. Okay, sort of exaggerating but you get the idea, right? I came up with this subtly sweet dessert for moments just like described above, and it helps that it’s packed with orange zest to give a refreshing element to it! Hmm, how can we make it even better? Adding a Maine blueberry jam to the center? OKAY! Last, but not least, I had to add something chocolate, because, come on, it’s me…who are we kidding, right?! So all of this goodness is topped with a chocolate peanut butter buttercream…excuse me while I go scarf one down.

So, as I came up with this ingenious idea to turn my cornbread slightly sweeter and force it to become a cake, I’ve also accepted the fact that it’s going to be a bit hotter than I’m used to for a lot longer than I thought possible, but, hey! Give me a box of popsicles, maybe a pint or two of Ben & Jerry’s and these cupcakes that are bursting with citrus, jam and chocolate, and I think I’m on board!

Yield: 1 dozen cupcakes

cornmeal cake ingredients

Brown Sugar—4.25 oz, or ½ C

White Granulated Sugar—2 oz, or ¼ C

Flour—4 oz, or ¾ C

Cornmeal—2 oz, or ¼ C + 2 TBL

Salt—1 tsp

Baking Powder—1½ tsp

Cinnamon—1 tsp

Orange Zest—1 TBL, or 1 large orange

Eggs—1

Milk—4 oz, or ½ C

Olive Oil—2.25 oz, or ¼ C

 

process

Preheat your oven to 350˚ F.

In a large bowl, combine both sugars, the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.

In another bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, olive oil and orange zest.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing until just combined.

Like a 12-count cupcake pan with liners.

Fill each up about 2/3 of the way.

Optional: sprinkle with coarse turbinado sugar for a nice crunch/texture before you bake.

Put in your preheated over for 12 minutes, rotate, then another 15 minutes.

Allow to cool completely before frosting them!

 

peanut butter chocolate buttercream ingredients

Peanut Butter—2.25 oz, or ¼ C

Butter (room temperature)—2.5 oz, or 5 TBL

Confectioner’s Sugar (sifted)—6.25 oz, or 1 ¼ C

Cocoa Powder (sifted)—1.25 oz, or ½ C

Milk—2 TBL

Orange Extract—½ tsp

Vanilla Extract—1 tsp

 

process

In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the butter and peanut butter until very smooth.

While this is creaming, sift together the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder.

In another measuring cup, combine the milk and both extracts.

Once your butters are nice and smooth, slowly add half of your sifted ingredients.

Scrape down the sides of your bowl.

Add in half of your wet ingredients.

Add the final amount of confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder, then the remaining milk/extracts.

Scrape down the bowl.

Turn your mixer up to about medium speed and allow to whip for a good 10 seconds, making your buttercream smooth and fluffy.

Once your cupcakes have cooled completely, you may use this to frost with!

 

assembly

As this first step you may omit, I highly recommend that you don’t!

First, using a paring knife, cut out small little cones out of the center of each cake.

Fill them with jam—I have used a Maine blueberry jam, but any kind will work! I find that orange + blueberry complement each other oh so well!

Once each center has been filled, use either just an offset spatula or piping on a nice dollop of buttercream using a round tip, to both completely cover the jam as well as add a good 2 TBL of it on top!

This can be as messy or as clean as you’d like—all depending on your technique and preference!

I have used a medium-sized round tip in my pastry bag to cover the jam with the buttercream, and then also to put enough on before spreading out with the offset.

Finish with any type of sprinkle or sugar that you’d like, or just leave plain as is!

 

Bon Appétit!

Chocolate Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

It’s Mother’s Day, it’s Mother’s Day!

I mean how can one not be this excited?! I am in love with my mom and my birthday always falls right around this weekend (sometimes on the big day!), and so there are always celebrations galore. Go figure that I would do another muffin recipe—last year I literally posted Mother’s Day Muffins

This year we are going crazy with freshness, lightness, and chocolateyness. I don’t know about you, but it seems like moms are just obsessed with that in desserts. Something about the simplicity, the vibrancy, the freshness in lemon that seems to scream Moms are going to love me!

Then I added in chocolate, because, well, chocolate, my friends…and topped them with a crumb. Let me tell you, a lemon poppyseed muffin with a crumb topping is a game changer! The addition of a couple of unexpected things in these little muffins is what really makes it unique for me—who am I kidding, was chocolate really a huge surprise?! But definitely a good one!

So, my friends, if you’re looking to wow mom, who you all should if you’re close enough to be with yours (sadly, West Virginia to Maine isn’t driving distance…), these will do the trick! I mean how many times has she woken up to breakfast in the oven, the coffee brewing, maybe some beautiful tulips on the table and Michael Bublé playing in the background?! For the almost 26 years of my life, my mom always does all of those things for me, she’s basically Superwoman, and I have no clue how she gets it all done.

This Sunday I encourage you to swap places with her for just the one day—let her eat in the living room and you make her bed!—all starting with a little coffee, a couple of these Chocolate Lemon Poppyseed Muffins, and a crazy amount of love!

crumb ingredients

Brown Sugar—2 oz, or ¼ C

Flour—3 oz, or ½ C

Butter—2 oz, or ¼ C/4 TBL

 

process

Combine brown sugar and flour together in a bowl.

Cut the butter up into hazelnut-sized cubes.

Add the butter in with the dry ingredients and mix.

Using either a pastry cutter or your hands, rub the butter into the sugar-flour until it resembles little bits of sand.

Set aside until ready to use.

 

muffin ingredients

Butter, room temperature—4 oz, ½ C/8 TBL

Sugar—6 oz, or ¾ C

Eggs—2

Greek Yogurt—4oz, or ½ C

Vanilla Extract—1 tsp

Flour—12 oz, or 2 C

Baking Soda—1 tsp

Baking Powder—1 ¼ tsp

Salt—½ tsp

Poppyseeds—0.25 oz, or 1 TBL

Lemon Zest—1 medium lemon

Lemon Juice—4 oz, or ½ C

Dark Chocolate Chips—6 oz, or 1 C

 

process

Preheat your oven to 375˚ F.

In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.

Scrape down the sides of your bowl and add in the eggs, one at a time.

Add in the vanilla and Greek yogurt—mix until all combined.

Sift together your flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Add the lemon zest and poppyseeds.

Slowly add this to your mixer, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl when needed.

Once you have added all of the dry ingredients, slowly stream in the lemon juice.

Add the chocolate chips.

Line a muffin pan, and fill each cup ¾ of the way with muffin batter.

Sprinkle a healthy sized portion of the crumb you made on top, making sure to cover the top completely.

When you have filled all of your cups, put in your preheated oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, until slightly golden on top.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before eating.

 

Bon appétit!

Almond Joy Cupcakes

You need this cake in your life, and you need it right now! Bright and early in the week, I promise that you won’t regret it!

Here is my story for the week, my sweet baking friends—I got in this wildly unmotivated mood the past handful of days. I was feeling all sorts of exhaustion, from working to baking to wedding planning, when I finally had a second to sit down, I didn’t want to get up for maybe a month or two. It felt crazy, and even more out of this world saying it out loud!

Okay. Out loud aka typing

We all have those moments, right? When you decide for a few minutes that you don’t know what you’re doing with your life, that maybe you should be going down a different path, that maybe eating a bowl of cookie dough isn’t the right answer but you’re okay with being wrong…right?!

Say yes! Anyone!

Well that was little Miss Katie these past days. I have started planning my training schedule for some upcoming races, and then I realized that there is 2 million wedding things to get done, and then it was like oh my gosh we are moving in a few months, but shoot, I need to focus on the wedding…and clearly I’m veering off course. So, as you can see, my mind has been everywhere, my urge for baking was more like another task—what?! You live for sugar, Katie—and I couldn’t seem to focus on one thing at a time.

In comes my future husband, aka the man with all of the answers, aka the reason for this amazing recipe, aka why I am a bit calmer than I was 2 days ago!

He tells my stubborn self to take a break, forget about everything for a while and come back to it—so we go to Target, because DUH, and then after we try on wedding bands…instantly more relaxed.

And I am back, refreshed and ready to get elbow deep in some dark chocolate, almonds and coconut—it’s just as incredible as it sounds.

So here we have it, the cake that seemed to save my life this weekend all because of the man who surely gives me life! Insanely rich chocolate cake that is stuffed with even more bittersweet chocolate chunks, almonds and coconut…plus coconut buttercream, it’s everything you will need to make this week magnificent, and more!

Whether you are feeling like Slumpy Katie from Sunday or World Conquering Katie from Tuesday, this cake will give you the power to do all of the things—which may be a laundry list or just a little self love!

cake ingredients

Butter—2 oz, or 4 TBL

Sugar—2 oz, or ¼ C

Brown Sugar—1 oz, or 2 ½ TBL

Egg—1

Milk—1.5 oz, or 3 TBL

Vanilla—½ tsp

Corn Syrup—0.5 oz, or 1 TBL

Flour—2 oz, or ¼ C + 1 TBL

Cocoa Powder—0.75 oz, or 2 ½ TBL

Baking Powder—½ tsp

Baking Soda—¼ tsp

Salt—½ tsp

Shredded Coconut—0.5 oz, or ¼ C

Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped—2 oz, or ½ C

 

process

Preheat your oven to 350˚ F.

In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the butter and sugars.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Combine the milk, egg, vanilla and corn syrup in another cup.

Once the butter is smooth, alternate between the wet and dry, slowly adding it into the mixer.

Make sure to always scrape down the sides of your bowl!

Once all of the ingredients are in the bowl, fold in the coconut and chopped chocolate.

Fill your cupcake tin with liners and put enough cake batter in each to fill them up about ½ way.

Bake in your preheated oven for 18-20 minutes until the top springs back slightly when touched.

Allow to cool completely before frosting!

*Note—this is a small batch of cupcakes, only makes 6, so this way I won’t eat them all myself! It is very simple to double or triple the batch for any type of party, gathering, etc.*

 

buttercream ingredients

Butter—6.5 oz, or 13 TBL

Confectioner’s Sugar—12 oz, or 3 C

Milk—2 oz, or 4 TBL

Almond Extract—2 tsp

Shredded Coconut—0.5 oz, or ¼ C

 

process

In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter until smooth.

Sift the confectioner’s sugar and slowly add it to the creamed butter.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and then stream in the milk and almond extract.

Whip on high until smooth.

Add in the coconut.

I used a medium-sized star tip to pipe onto these cupcakes, but you may use either a spatula or a flat tip—whatever you think looks the best! Sprinkle on more coconut and chopped chocolate for garnish.

 

Bon Appétit!

Irish Coconut Cake

What do you get when you add Baileys Irish Cream, chocolate and toasted coconut together?

Heaven!

I never thought that I could love a cake so much. Love may not even be a strong enough word to express the feelings I have towards this cake—it’s every sort of mood booster that one could need, even with this doesn’t-make-sense-of-a-week coming up.

My sweets loving friends, have you ever heard that “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb” saying? Well, let me just tell you, March has been coming in like a lion on vacation or something, this entire next week will be in the 70’s. Yes. Basically beach weather and I am still deeply in my winter tan mode—you know, when you’ll burn at even the mention of warm sun. Do I believe that St. Patrick’s Day is in less than two weeks? Nope! That Easter is at the end of the month? Not even possible.

So here I am, trying to decide whether or not to keep our fleece sheets on the bed, whether iced coffee is the route to go these days, and what light spring jacket I should be wearing at the beginning of March! Seeing as those decisions are way to difficult for this season-confused girl, I put it all on pause, put on my cropped jeans and decided to make a season-confused cake!

I know you all knew something with Baileys Irish Cream was coming—I mean it is March and I love any excuse to put Baileys in anything! And then I was like, well, if I have the option to show my pasty, clear legs to the world this week in shorts, I better toast some coconut for this cake to add some more craziness to the month!

And here you have it—my very confused Irish Coconut Cake that has vanished in the yummiest of ways after only 3 days!

We start with a very simple, very moist, deliciously simple Baileys vanilla cake. I have recently discovered coconut butter (yes, please!), so I subbed some of the butter for that, which is optional of course. So, if you only take a few bites of this ridiculously good cake batter before baking, you will have a beautiful 8” cake all ready to be smothered in buttercream!

Between the layers, I used coconut milk in place of a simple syrup, also optional, to bring even more moistness to the cake as well as coconut flavor. Then bring on the Baileys Chocolate Buttercream and the snowstorm of toasted coconut and you have yourself THE cake of the month!

Luckily, I have friends and a fiancé who just as cake obsessed as I am and devoured 90% of the cake—I mean I am sweatin’ for the wedding…

Hah.

So, while we are all just slightly confused by the lack of snow in this beautiful month of March, why not make a cake that is just as unique in flavors, but, luckily enough, is absolutely delicious—and basically heaven!

cake ingredients

Flour—10 oz, or 2 C

Baking Powder—½ tsp

Baking Soda—½ tsp

Salt—½ tsp

Butter, room temperature—5 oz, or 10 TBL

Coconut Butter*—1 oz, or 2 TBL

Sugar—10 oz, or 1 ¼ C

Eggs—2

Yolks—2

Milk—4 oz, or ½ C

Baileys Irish Cream—2 oz, or ¼ C

 

process

Preheat your oven to 350˚ F.

In a large bowl, sift together your flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of your mixer, cream the butter, coconut butter and sugar until light and smooth.

*You do not have to use coconut butter, this is 100% optional. You may just replace with regular, unsalted butter*

Slowly add in your eggs and yolks, one at a time, and making sure to scrape after each addition.

When all of your eggs have been added, alternate adding the dry sifted ingredients and your wet ingredients, making sure to end with the Baileys/milk.

Mix until just combined.

Prepare an 8” cake pan by spraying with nonstick spray and then either lightly coating with flour or with parchment.

This recipe makes exactly 1-8” cake.

Bake in your preheated oven for 35-40 minutes—it is done when the cake springs back when you touch it.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before decorating.

 

buttercream ingredients

Butter, room temperature—4 oz, or 1 stick

Confectioner’s Sugar—7.5 oz, or 1 ½ C

Cocoa Powder—1.25 oz, or ½ C

Baileys Irish Cream—2.5 oz, or 1/3 C

Milk—1 oz, or 2 TBL

 

Coconut Milk—for brushing on the bottom layer

Toasted Coconut—1-2 C, optional for decorating

 

process

In the bowl of your mixer, cream your butter until smooth—about 5 minutes.

In another bowl, sift together your confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder.

With the mixer on low, slowly add in your sifted ingredients to the butter.

Once all added, scrape the sides of the bowl.

Slowly stream in the Baileys Irish Cream, and then the milk, making sure to scrape the sides as needed.

Once all of your ingredients have been added, turn your mixer up to a medium speed and whip for about 10 seconds, just to make it nice and smooth, very easy to work with!

 

to decorate

Once your cake has cooled completely and you have removed it from the pan, trim the top of your cake, making it flat.

Now, cut your cake into to even layers.

With the first layer on your cake stand, or even a plate, brush on a nice, thin layer of the coconut milk—this will seal in any crumbs and keep this layer from drying out too much.

Coconut milk is completely optional as well. If you would prefer a simple syrup, Baileys, other alcohol, that is up to you!

Put on a good-sized dollop of your whipped buttercream and spread evenly over the bottom later.

Sprinkle with toasted coconut.

Place the second half of your cake on top.

Put the rest of your buttercream on top of the cake, spread evenly on the top and sides of your cake.

It helps to spread evenly on the top of your cake first, allowing some of the buttercream to fall over the sides, and then you can just use that to smooth out the sides of the cake with!

Now you may either leave like this, or make it extra amazing by covering the rest of your cake with the toasted coconut—all over the top and the sides.

To toast the coconut- preheat your oven to 300˚F, spread the coconut on a sheet pan and toast for about 8 minutes. Every couple of minutes, check on the coconut, re-spreading it around so that it browns evenly! You will know it is finished by the wonderful smell!

Cut whatever sized slice you would like and enjoy!

 

Bon Appétit!