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


Milk—4 oz, or ½ C

Olive Oil—2.25 oz, or ¼ C



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



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!



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!

Orange Sugar Cookies

Spring has sprung my sweet friends! The warmth is here, the flowers are all over the place saying hello, the trees are blooming beauties, and I have been running in shorts and a t-shirt! Life is beautiful!

I hope that everyone had an absolutely loving, family and chocolate filled Easter weekend, as mine was filled with far too many chocolate eggs that this morning I still feel as if I am in a coma—yes I ate that much. I decided to change gears a bit and go ahead and freeze most of my chocolate because 1. Out of sight out of mind, and 2. If you didn’t know already, frozen candy, in my family, means zero calories! Now who wants in with us?

So as I say goodbye to Mr. Bunny with his ears bitten off, I am saying Bonjour to my very simple sugar cookies and rather adorable cookie cutters, which I firmly believe that they are a staple in many a bakers life—I mean we can cut out so. Many. Things.

Cookies, candy, fudge, stencils, bread, cake—dare I go on?

Not to brag, but my wild animal + Eiffel Tower collection of cutters is rather fabulous, but I have been using them more as decorations lately than for baking…why Katie, why?!

And here we have it, an ever so simple and delicious sugar cookie recipe that allowed me to show off my goods in more ways than lining the kitchen! Something extra special that I am obsessing over with this recipe is the versatility of it. Yes, I decided to make them orange, but any flavors—citrus or not—are truly perfect with it. Add in crushed mints, put in multiple zests, how about extra sprinkles, they are all possible! Plus, can you just think at how cute and perfect these cookies will be for all things outdoors?! I mean, who doesn’t want a margarita and sugar cookie on the back porch? No one! Let's just add in a martini, margarita and wine glass to that cookie cutter collection of yours.

You’re welcome!


Butter, room temperature—8 oz, or 2 sticks

Sugar—12.25 oz, or 1 ½ C


Orange Extract—¼ tsp

Flour—15 oz, or 3 C

Salt—½ tsp

Baking Soda—¾ tsp

Orange Zest—1 medium

Milk—½ TBL



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

Once light and fluffy, add the egg and extract.

*You can use any flavor extract you would like, the orange just adds more depth and flavor.*

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking soda.

With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients.

Add in the zest.

Once all combined, add in the milk.

When your dough is nice and smooth, remove from the bowl and wrap in plastic wrap—put into the refrigerator to chill.


When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350˚ F.

Remove the dough from the fridge.

On a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough to warm it up just slightly, this allows the dough to become slightly more pliable when you are rolling it out.

Roll out the sugar cookie dough until it is about ¼” thick.

*If it is easier for you, you may roll the dough out in sections so that you are working with less.*

Using whatever cookie cutters you have, stamp out as many as the rolled out dough will allow.

Place all cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment, a Silpat or sprayed with nonstick spray.

Put in the refrigerator to chill for about 10 minutes.

Repeat these steps until you have used all of your dough.

Before baking, you may either sprinkle with some coarse sugar, sprinkles, chocolate chips, whatever you’d like to decorate!

Place the cut, chilled and decorated cookies in the oven to bake for about 12-15 minutes, until just slightly golden on the edges.

Allow to cool on a rack, and enjoy with a cozy cup of tea!


Bon Appétit!

Cinnamon Raisin Buns

Today I am bringing you the most ingenious idea that I have ever thought of—it has taken me way too many years, too many loaves of bread, too much cinnamon—but alas, we have made it! Cinnamon raisin buns!

Yes, I have taken probably my all-time favorite bread, shoved as much cinnamon and sugar as I can inside of it, and made it into individual buns—and all in time for Easter. A basket full of these on your brunch, lunch or dinner table next weekend will make you forget about the couple of pounds of chocolate you have been looking forward to consuming for just a few moments!

I believe that I say it with each holiday, claiming that they are my favorite to bake for, but then I realize that I am just as obsessed with the next as I was the first! I mean, Thanksgiving and Christmas, those holidays just scream for anything sweet, and then comes Valentine’s Day—load up on the chocolate, but then St. Patrick’s Day—hello booze, and now we are at Easter—where all I want to do is 1. Eat a bag of Cadbury Chocolate Eggs, 2. Bake endlessly with all things pastel, and 3. Run around the house like my childhood self and collect Easter eggs. So far, the first two have been completed…

As you all know about my great obsession with Cinnamon Swirl Bread, I have even more of a love for this one below with raisins! Oh my, raisins in bread are just something I can’t even talk about without salivating. They become so plump and moist, give a bit of extra sweetness that sometimes bread lacks, and are all about that toasting life—I mean is there a better joy than toasted cinnamon raisin bread with peanut butter?! NO!

And here we are my sweet, sweet friends…combining the best of every single world into one lovely bun!

I have taken my life-trusted Challah recipe, given it some bff’s in raisin form, shoved it full of cinnamon and made into individual sized buns! Yeah, it’s mind-blowing isn’t it?!

I don’t know about you, but ripping and tearing from the loaf of bread is just not my thing, neither is deciding how big of a slice to cut from it…I mean can’t I just take half of the loaf and we call it a day?

Fear no more my bread lovers, you now have beautiful buns in your Easter basket—you are welcome!


Bread Flour—7.5 oz, or 1 ¼ C

AP Flour—3 oz, or ½ C

Salt—½ tsp

Sugar—0.5 oz, or 1 TBL

Yeast—1 packet


Molasses—0.75 oz, or 1 TBL

Milk (110˚F)—1 oz, or 2 TBL

Water (110˚F)—2.5 oz, or ¼ C + 1 TBL

Raisins—1.75 oz, or 1/3 C


Cinnamon—1 TBL

Sugar—1.25 oz, or 2 ½ TBL

Egg—1, for eggwash



In the bowl of your mixer, combine the flours, salt and sugar.

Add in the yeast, making sure that it is separate from the salt—you do not want them to touch until they are combined with the liquid, as salt will slow down the rising process if they are directly in contact.

Warm up your milk and water together until they are around 110˚ F. The easiest way to do this if you do not have a thermometer is to warm them up until they feel a slight bit warmer than your body temperature.

*Note: if you heat the liquids up too much, it will kill the yeast; if you don’t heat them up enough, the yeast either (1) won’t activate, or (2) will take an extremely long time and you will think that it isn’t working!*

Attach the dough hook on your mixer and turn on low speed.

Add in the egg and molasses.

Slowly stream in the warmed milk and water.

Add in the raisins.

Mix on slow for 3-5 minutes.

Turn your mixer up to medium/high speed and mix for about 3-5 minutes.

Transfer your dough to a large, greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and then a towel—allow to sit in the warmest part of your house to rise until double in size.

This should take about 2 hours.

Make you cinnamon-sugar filling by simply mixing them together in a bowl.

When your dough has risen, remove from the bowl and place on a floured work surface.

Knead the dough slightly.

Using a dough cutter, make 6 equal dough balls—this can be done just by eye, or if you want to be very precise, I prefer to use a scale.

Make into balls and then flatten.

Beat an egg for your eggwash and brush on your flattened dough.

Sprinkle a heaping teaspoon of the cinnamon-sugar mixture in the center of each.

Once you have finished filling them up, take the edges of your flattened dough and pinch them altogether in the center, making them in balls again.

Place seam side down in a muffin tin.

Allow them to all rise again for about another hour.

To speed up this process, preheat your oven and allow them to sit above it so the heat will warm them quicker.

When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350˚ F.

Using the eggwash, brush on the tops of each of your buns.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until the tops are nicely golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before taking out of the pan.

Best enjoyed with a morning cup of coffee and loved ones!


Bon Appétit!

Almond Chai Breakfast Pastry

Ever have those days when you’re just craving a Poptart-like breakfast pastry? And then you realize that as an almost-26 year old you really shouldn’t be ooing and ahhing over all of the varieties in that aisle, that maybe you should just be picking up your fruit and yogurt, and leaving the store as quickly as possible.

Yes. That happens to me almost every time that I am in the supermarket. I go up and down the aisle that has Oreos (obviously need to see if there are any new flavors!), and then peak at the Poptarts, thinking maybe it will be the day that I cave, the day when I buy Cinnamon Brown Sugar, S’more and Strawberry Poptarts.

It has yet to happen.

Then I made this wild discovery—I may be skilled enough to make my own Poptarts at home, I mean culinary school should have prepared me for this exact adult moment, am I right? And naturally I’m going to make something a little different, a combination that I am pretty sure I can’t find sitting in a box between the ever so delicious S’mores and Blueberry flavors.

Cue the nuts and spices.

First, making your own chai spice blend is ever so easy, read ingredients below, but I used some from Easy Indian that are so authentic and fragrant—highly recommend! Second, nuts are always optional, but unless you have allergies I really do not suggest omitting them. The added crunch and the toasted flavor really elevate the pastry as a whole, giving them just a few more taste points in my book.

Finally, the pie dough and assembly are what take the most time and have the most steps. Rolling, cutting, chilling, assembling, chilling, egg washing, chilling, baking. Can you tell that chilling the dough and the temperature is very important?! While they are not the most complicated, a bit of patience is required if you want to achieve the most flakey, most buttery, most yummy and most aesthetically pleasing pastry—which is why I have provided very detailed steps and photos, I suggest reading all of the steps before starting!

Literally perfect for ANY time of the day…which just means for me I need to run an extra mile or go to an extra spin class this week in order to feel slightly less bad about eating more of these Poptarts in a day than I probably have in my life!

dough ingredients

Flour—6.75 oz, or 1 ¼ C

Sugar—0.25 oz, or ½ TBL

Salt—½ tsp

Cinnamon—1 tsp

Butter, cold—4 oz, or 1 stick/8 TBL

Milk—2 oz, or ¼ C

Water, cold—1 oz, or ¼ C



In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon.

Cut up the butter into hazelnut sized cubes and add to the flour mixture.

Using your hands, a pastry cutter or a fork, rub the butter into the flour mixture until combined.

Slowly add in your cold milk and water, kneading with your hands or a spatula until you have formed a dough ball.

Wrap tightly in plastic and chill until you are ready to use.


filling ingredients

Brown Sugar—4 oz, or ½ C

Chai Spices*—0.25 oz, or 1 TBL

Chopped Almonds, toasted—1.5 oz, or ¼ C

Milk—0.5 oz, or 1 TBL


Egg, beaten—1



In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, spices and chopped almonds.

*I used Easy Indian Chai Spice, but to make your own—2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp each of allspice, cardamom, cloves, ginger, black pepper!*

Add in the milk and mix to combine.

Your mixture should resemble slightly wet sand; this just helps it stay together when you are filling your pastry!


turnover assembly

Take your dough out of the refrigerator and put on a lightly floured work surface.

Roll your dough out until it is about ¼“ thick.

*To make sure that you get a nice and even dough when rolling, rotate 45˚ after every pass of your rolling pin, making sure that there is enough flour underneath and it is not sticking.*

Once you have rolled out your dough, using either a fluted pastry wheel or regular pizza cutter, cut out rectangles that are 3” x 1½”.

This should make about 6 sets.

Once you have finished cutting out the rectangles, place them on a baking sheet covered with either parchment or a Silpat in the refrigerator to chill.

Preheat your oven to 350˚ F.

You should have 6 bottoms and 6 tops—egg wash the bottoms completely, this will help your filling stay in place better.

Take about 2 TBL of the filling and place it in the middle of your bottom rectangle.

Egg wash the edges of the top pastry and place wash side down on your filling.

Crimp the edges with a fork so that the top and bottom pastry stick together.

Chill for about 5 minutes in the refrigerator.

When you are ready to bake, poke air holes in the top so that your pastry can vent, egg wash the top, and sprinkle coarse sugar on top.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Remove from the oven onto a cooling rack


Bon Appétit!

Irish Coconut Cake

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


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…


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



Milk—4 oz, or ½ C

Baileys Irish Cream—2 oz, or ¼ C



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



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!