Banana Nut Cake ~ Cake Slice Bakers

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Somehow I get the feeling that I won’t be the only one revealing the banana nut cake as our Cake Slice Bakers choice this month. It’s the perfect time of year for it and it’s not unusual for bakers to have lots of bananas waiting patiently in their freezers to be called into service.

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This cake was not the one I really wanted to bake. My initial choice was the Blueberry Crumb Squares. However, when the bananas begin to fall out every time you open the freezer door it’s time to do something with them.

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One of the things I like most about this recipe is how simple it was to come together. The only exception was the author’s repeated suggestion that the sugar be added one tablespoon at a time. I decided to re-read the section in the cookbook on procedures and techniques to find out the importance of this step. Ms. Walter states that “in order to maintain the suspension of the air cells achieved in the creaming (of butter) the sugar should be added to the fat very slowly, usually one tablespoon at a time over 4-10 minutes depending upon the amount of the sugar the recipe calls for”. I have been adding the sugar one tablespoon at a time but haven’t worked up to the 4-10 minute time period yet.

This is a snack cake that is great with a cup of coffee or tea. It’s not heavy and the banana taste is not overpowering. To me there was an ever so slight salty aftertaste and that could be attributed to my low salt tolerance. The recipe called for one teaspoon and I reduced to ¾ right off the top. The Mr hasn’t had any yet but this is the kind of cake he likes, not too sweet and no frosting.

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With cooler nights and frosty mornings making their presence known this is the best time of year for this kind of cake. Also, just in case you’re wondering about the recipe. As part of the Cake Slice Baker’s protocol we are not supposed to supply the recipe in our post with the cookbook author’s permission.

We’re coming to the end of road with this cookbook and we’re all excited to get started on the next one. Please check out the selections of my fellow bakes and the link parties I’m sharing this cake with.

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Link Parties:
Wow Us Wednesday’s

Tablescape Thursday’s

Inspire Me Tuesday

Katherine’s Corner

DIY by Design

Rustic and Refined

The Scoop

Sweet and Savoury Sunday

Almond Bundt Cake

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Shopping at Big Lots is fun. From home décor, dinnerware to even some pantry staples I’ve found many bargains there. It’s not the first place I shop for baking supplies but if I’m there and something looks interesting and hasn’t expired, I might try it. Many items are off brands. Sometimes way off, off brands. However when I spied a can of almond paste for $1.25 I thought why not. I’d never baked with it before, and figured for that price I‘d give it a try. Continue reading

Boozy Baby Bundts and Blueberry Cream Cheese Pound Cake

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There was serious baking going on in the Sweet Sensations household over the weekend. Several cakes were needed to accompany my DIY Cake Stands. One half finished project completed and a couple more to go. You’ll get a glimpse of the stands with the cakes over here but for full details check out my post on Around My Table, my other blog.

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Whenever I have the opportunity to put together a dessert table, no matter the size I feel like I’m in my element. Cakes and dessert tables are like putting on my comfy robe and slippers. I love the planning of the desserts and the back and forth of deciding which props to use and deciding what goes where.

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When it’s a styled shoot as this one was I like to start early in the morning. By 8am I’ve had my coffee and I’m downstairs rigging up the lights and setting up the table. The house is quiet and it’s just me and my sweets. No need for movies to keep me company. Be it a big or small table it takes time. Everything doesn’t always go as planned and there are lots of pictures to take. The beauty of dessert buffets is that most sweets can be prepared well in advance. Occasionally something needs a touch up, or sometimes a warm up for a little shine.

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For this table I baked a Blueberry Cream Cheese Pound Cake, an Almond Bundt and some Boozy Baby Bundts. What’s not to love here people?

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The Blueberry Cream Cheese Pound Cake is a repeat and the recipe can be found here. I’ll share the Almond Bundt Cake recipe in a few days. Today we’re starting off the work week with the Boozy Baby Bundts. Have you tried RumChata before? As crazy as this sounds it tastes like the milk left in the cereal bowl, but spiked. The recipe is my basic buttermilk pound cake with Rum Chata in place of the vanilla. After baking I gave them a good soak with more of the same plus some Cake flavored vodka. I know, I know, way over the top! The really cool thing (I guess) is that they didn’t taste like they were loaded with booze and there definitely wasn’t any buzz involved. That being said I wouldn’t recommend it for minors.

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Boozy Baby Bundts
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
Mini buttermilk bundt cakes soaked with RumChata and Cake flavored vodka.
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp RumChata
  • Mini shot bottle of RumChata
  • 2 TBS cake flavored vodka
  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Prepare a 6 cup mini bundt mold for non stick baking and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; usually until the yolk disappears.
  3. Combine flour baking soda, and lightly sift.
  4. Add dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk and beat well.
  5. Stir in RumChata.
  6. Pour into prepared pan filling ⅔ full and bake for 60 minutes or until cake tests done.
  7. Cool in pan for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Using the tines of a fork poke holes in the top of the baby bundts.
  9. Mix the mini bottle of RumChata and the 2 TBS of cake flavored vodka.
  10. Brush or spoon mixture onto the cakes using all of the mixture.
  11. Let them sit for at least 20 minutes before transferring to a serving tray.


With the holidays coming up you may have a sweets table on your list. If so check out these posts for hints on putting one together.
Dessert Tables Pt 1
Dessert Tables Pt 2

I’m bringing some dessert to the following parties this week. Won’t you join me?

Wow Us Wednesday’s

Tablescape Thursday’s

Inspire Me Tuesday

Katherine’s Corner

DIY by Design

Rustic and Refined

The Scoop

Also please don’t forget to check out Amazon Smiles for the opportunity to donate to your favorite charity compliments of If you don’t have a favorite charity in mind please consider Cookies for Kids Cancer.

Kit Kat Brownies and a Worthy Cause

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Brownies alone are just awesome, as are Kit Kat bars. Sweet Mother of Pearl when you put them both together your taste buds are ecstatic! This is the dessert that stole the show at our Labor Day bash.

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When I see boxed or packaged mixes on sale I often buy them. I buy them for occasions when I want to use a shortcut due to time constraints, or just because. At fifty cents a package I scooped up several brownie mixes. Due to my Pinterest obsession I didn’t have to think long about what I would do with them. Kit Kat Brownies it is!

The reviews on some of the recipes I found were mixed. Some thought they were the holy grail of sweet treats; others weren’t so keen on the texture of the Kit Kats after baking. Time would tell.

For this recipe I used 2 packages of the brownie mix and one bag of miniature Kit Kat bars. I should never, ever, evah be left alone with a dessert like this. Thank goodness there were no hidden cameras around to see me scarfing down the cut off ends. My mother always told me that confession is good for the soul, LOL!!

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In regards to the texture of the Kit Kat bars; it did change slightly after baking. It was a tad bit chewier, but not chewy like a perfectly baked chocolate chip cookie. I hope that makes sense. The best way for you judge and say yay or nay is to bake a batch. Before you do make sure there aren’t any hidden cameras around. Your secret will be safe with me.

I modified the recipe found at James and Everett.

2 pkgs brownie mix, 10.25 oz each
1 pkg miniature Kit Kat bars

Prepare an 8×8” square ban with butter or cooking spray. I also lined the pan with aluminum foil allowing it to hang over the sides for easy removal. Parchment paper would work as well.
Preheat the oven as directed on the brownie package and then prepare the mix as per the package instructions. If you want to up the ante on this one, add chopped nuts.
Since I used two packages of the mix I prepared each one separately. After adding the first one and spreading it evenly I placed the Kit Kat bars evenly across the batter staying away from the edges.

The next step was to adding the other mix. Using an angled spatula to spread the mix on top of the candy was the easiest method. If you don’t have one a spoon would work well. This is not a step to rush through. When compared to the picture of the recipe I followed my mix was much thicker and I had to really take time to get an even spread on top of the candy.

It’s very important not to over bake your brownies so I’d suggested you undercook them by about five minutes. After baking let them cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. After ten minutes lift the brownies from the pan using the foil overhang as handles. Allow them to cool completely before cutting into individual servings.

Special Note:
Cookies for Kids’ Cancer was founded by two OXO employees who were inspired by their son Liam’s battle with pediatric cancer. The aim of the organization is to provide inspiration and support for individuals, communities and businesses to help fight pediatric cancer through the concept of local bake sales.

While shopping on I discovered that they have a program entitled Amazon Smiles where shoppers can support the charity of their choice at no cost to them. Once the choice is made and every time you shop at they will donate a portion of the purchase price to your designated organization. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer was my choice. What a wonderful way to be involved by doing something you already do. Click here to find out more about the program.

I’m also sharing these brownies at the following parties this week:

Wow Us Wednesday’s

Tablescape Thursday’s

Inspire Me Tuesday

Katherine’s Corner

DIY by Design

Rustic and Refined

The Scoop

Slow Your Roll

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Right now, right now, right now I say!! That’s the way we tend to think when we want something. From weight loss to vacation or whatever. We want what we want as of yesterday. But what’s the rush? Will the attainment of our current or not so current desire be the end of us wanting? Nine times out of ten, no. So why not just take a deep breath, exhale and enjoy the process. Once we get what we want we’re going to want something else. And that’s not a right or wrong thing; it’s just how we’re wired. Often we get so caught up rushing through everything that we don’t really enjoy what we get or better yet enjoy what we have. Right at this moment, we have everything we need. Sometimes that’s a bit hard to digest but it’s true. You’ve heard the cutesy sayings: “Success is the journey not the destination”, “Stop and smell the coffee, roses etc.” They all have their merit and the message is the same. Slow down and enjoy life wherever you are. Want anything your heart desires, but realize that the world is still full of things, people and places you can enjoy right now, and most of them are right before your eyes. Take care and Be Well.

Everything comes gradually and at its appointed hour. Ovid

Peach Custard Kuchen

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A couple of months ago I pulled my mom’s old steamer trunk from the closet. It had been years since I’d gone through it and I knew it would be a trip down memory lane. I came across pictures the kids made in grade school, tassels from their graduation caps and lots of books. Early in our marriage is when I began to collect cookbooks. At that time the only thing I was interested in were quick and easy cakes, mostly from a mix. Oh the lessons I’ve learned since then.

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Raspberry Basil Lemonade

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I’m coming to you much later than originally planned with this recipe. The official end of the summer season has been kind of busy around here. Back to back cook-outs this weekend. Trips to the doctor, medical test after medical test, back to teaching for me, our clothes dryer decided we needed a new one and Gabbi started in a new school today. Time to s-l-o-w down but just for a bit, now we’re planning Gab’s birthday party. I see lots of caffeine in my future.

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Getting to Know You Blog Tour

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One of the greatest tools of self-expression for me has been writing. I love the leeway that putting words to paper often gives a writer. I also love to be fully inundated with the culinary experience, especially baking. In August of 2010, I decided to merge the two and Sweet Sensations was born. The last four years have truly been a roller coaster ride and an amazing learning experience. I am nowhere near, where I would like to be with Sweet Sensations or my newest blog Around My Table. Chances are I will never be and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I say that because there is always something new to learn and new goals to meet. It keeps us on our toes.

Spag Meatball Tacos 1

Ramona from Curry and Comfort invited me to participate in this Blog Tour. I happily joined in since it is a great way to discover new blogs. In Ramona’s post, she mentioned that she met me and the other bloggers through Foodbuzz. That was a great food blogger community and I too, met many virtual friends there Ramona has supported me from day one. She always leaves a kind word and her talent and creativity are through the roof. With two small children she cooks and blogs everyday. Oh my gosh hats off to you girlfriend. I love the way she fuses her Sri Lankan culture and Western culture. If you have a taste for curry this is the place to visit and do not get me started on her incredible pictures. They are mouth watering, jaw dropping, drool inducing and just plain old gorgeous! Determined to keep striving for the best she has a series called, “Throwback Thursday”. Here she goes back into some past posts with pictures that she thinks are less than stellar and remakes the recipe again with new pictures. That my friends is dedication!

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In compliance with accepting Ramona’s invitation to this tour, I agreed to answer four questions so you can get to know me a little better. Here goes!

What am I working on currently on the blog?
Running two blogs is way more work than I anticipated and honestly, I’m not sure if it was the best idea. With Sweet Sensations dedicated to cakes and all things sweet and Around My Table for tablescapes and simple DIY projects my hands are full trying to post regularly on both of them. Right now, I’m transitioning between summer and fall. I am in no way ready to dive headlong into all things pumpkin spice so there are a few more summer sweets and tables I want to do. I’m also working on a more informational post about what tools and gadgets make for better baking.

How does my work differ than others of its genre?
I’m very talkative with my blogs, hope that makes sense. I share lots of up, downs, and my family life with my readers. When I don’t feel well I don’t mind talking about it. If I’m stressed out, my readers are likely to know about it. I don’t try to cover up the gray areas in my life and I remain accountable for every bad picture or missed step in a recipe. If something is a hot mess, I’m going to say it and have a good laugh about it in the process. When you’re baking cakes and setting tables there is lots of room for creativity. With that leeway some desserts can really be way over the top with lots of hard to find and expensive ingredients. That’s fun to do sometimes. Most of the time I share baked goods and techniques that even the most inexperienced baker can accomplish. As far as tablescaping I want to put together tables that are affordable. Using table linens and dinnerware that can easily be interchanged.

Why do I write what I do?
Writing and baking is very therapeutic for me. Often when I feel unbalanced or the need to get my groove back, I bake and write about it. This is my comfort zone and this is where I feel the most confident.

How does my writing process work?
Keeping with the theme of keeping it real there isn’t a set process for writing my posts. Over the last year I’ve made a valiant attempt to keep to an editorial calendar (thanks Keisha) in order to stay organized. Writing on the fly may work at times and then again can be a total flop. Sometimes I start the post before the dessert is baked or before the tablescape is done. What does work the best is to write the post and let it sit for a day, preferably two and then go back and read it again. Read it aloud, to someone else or into a recorder. Many times when I allow myself that luxury I catch mistakes easier or else I’m delighted and hope you guys find it as witty as I do.

Enough about me already. There are three super talented bloggers that I want you to meet. You may know them already, if not I hope you come to know them as the warm caring women that I have found them to be.

Meet Keisha from Cupcake Wishes and Birthday Dreams.

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Keisha and I met via Martha Stewart’s Dreamers into Doers Community. Right away she made me feel welcome. This lady is a wealth of information and I feared at one point she would block my email address because I asked so many questions. Being the kind soul that she is, Keisha graciously answered all of my questions and still does. Not only is she great at dessert tables and parties, her printables are amazing.

I’ve had so much fun getting to know Chloe from Celebrate and Decorate.

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Chloe is the consummate hostess and she loves sharing her ideas for entertaining which includes beautiful tables, recipes and even videos. Her style is easy going and friendly and her theme parties are just gorgeous. This lady knows how to take a theme and run with it. I can’t wait for you to check out her appetizers. Take a bib because you will drool! Chloe also has some serious home design skills. She has generously shared some of her own home renovations as well as showing us how to use designs she has rounded up from the blogosphere.

Here’s Katherine from Katherines Corner

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Blogging has led me to some very kind souls who I feel that I’ve known for a long time. Katherine from Katherine’s Corner is one of those people. I don’t know if I’ll ever have the chance to meet her but I imagine we’d get along great sitting and chatting over tea and perhaps a cookie or two. Katie shares lots of recipes, blogging tips, craft supplies and photography ideas. If you or anyone you know suffer from Migraines check out her migraine safe recipes. Add to all of that she also hosts a blog hop every Thursday where bloggers from all over and every niche link up and share their latest posts.

Well that’s it for my part in the blog tour today. I hope you enjoyed it. Make sure to check out my friend’s blogs. You will find something wonderful, I promise.

This blog tour bus is rolling to the following parties:

Wow us Wednesday’s

Tablescape Thursday’s

Rustic and Refined

The Scoop

A Stroll Thru Life

DIY by Design

Neapolitan Cake

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Time flies when you’re having fun. It’s hard to believe that we celebrated our youngest child’s birthday over the weekend. Yup my baby is 32 and you know there was cake. Knowing me as well as you do, you know that I couldn’t make just one dessert. I always ask my kids what kind of cake they want and most of the time I already know the answer. With Charisse it’s either going to be yellow cake with chocolate frosting or a variation of what she calls “Confused People Cake”, meaning a marble cake.

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This time she went for Neapolitan. Her cake was three layers: chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. Not a petite cake by any means. The base layer was chocolate and I applied a generous amount of chocolate mousse on top. Followed by strawberry that was topped with vanilla butter cream. The top layer was vanilla. I frosted the top and sides with vanilla butter cream and then drenched the top with chocolate ganache. The ganache flowed over the top of the cake and dripped easily down the sides. A small slice of this cake was almost a normal slice.

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Last weekend I made a cake to feed 150 guests for the 88th birthday of a very prominent pastor in our community. I had tons of cake toppings in the freezer from that one and used them to make cake truffles from them for Charisse. The buttons on our pants were already about to pop from dinner before we got to the sweet stuff. We had oven barbecued country style pork ribs, jambalaya, cornbread and raspberry lemonade.
We’re still full.

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I used boxed mixes for the cake and the mousse but jazzed them up a bit. For the chocolate cake I added 1 tsp espresso powder and 1 TBS dark chocolate cocoa in addition to the required ingredients. 2 TBS Strawberry daiquiri mix and 1 tsp vanilla was added to the strawberry mix and 2 TBS French Vanilla coffee creamer to the vanilla cake.

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The next family birthday coming up is in September for our resident Princess Gabbi. She’s asked for a Monster High cake and gumbo. What a combination!!! I share the recipe for the Raspberry Lemonade later this week.

These are the linky parties I participate in. Drop by and show them a little love!

Wow us Wednesday’s

Tablescape Thursday’s

Open House Thursday

Under the Table and Dreaming

Rustic and Refined

The Scoop

A Stroll Thru Life

DIY by Design

Golden Peach Cake ~ Cake Slice Bakers

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The Cake Slice Bakers are coming to the end of our baking adventures with Great Cakes by Carol Walter. As stated many times previously this was not the most well received book. A couple of months ago we found our stride by having the option to choose one of several cakes rather than just voting for one. For this month’s reveal I chose the Golden Peach Cake.

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