Coffee + Spice Pumpkin Cake with Coffee Caramel


Last Sunday I wanted to bake a cake. I’ve had this idea bouncing around in my head for a few days, since my sister mentioned it. Pumpkin and coffee and spice, like that famous latte. I made my way to the store, bought everything I needed and then sat down in front of my computer to try and work out the particulars of the recipe. I typed “Pumpkin Cake” and then closed my laptop.


Last fall I was walking through the grocery store when I saw a bottle of ginger beer. It’s label was bright orange with beautiful calligraphy. I put it in my cart and started formulating ideas. I could reduce it down and make a glaze! I could add some to a pot of soup and see how that would taste.

By the time I got home I’d talked myself out of creating anything new with that ginger beer. I stuck in a cabinet and forgot about it.

So goes the last 3 years of my life.


This is scary to talk about and it makes me feel vulnerable but here’s the thing: I want to bake stuff and I want to share it again. So I need to share this first. The last three-nearly-four years have been thread through with anxiety and depression and grief.  It stripped me of my ability to create and some days even my ability to think clearly. It’s darn near impossible for me to work up the energy to artfully drizzle caramel and photograph it when I feel bad. Lately though, the urge to return to this space has been stronger than ever.


I woke up this morning thinking about that cake again. I wanted to bake it and photograph it and share it with y’all. I started talking myself out of it again. No one reads blogs anymore! What if your pictures suck? Maybe you should just go back to bed. But I didn’t! I tied on my apron and got to work. I cut my finger twice on the can of pumpkin and I spilled sugar all over my kitchen floor but I baked this cake and it’s delicious. That feels a bit like a victory. They say you can’t go home again but maybe you can blog again. I want to talk to you about recipes and the seasons and (feeling like) failing at being a cookbook author and plenty of other stuff. First, let’s talk about this cake in particular.


It’s a play on that old favorite, the pumpkin spice latte. I put some espresso powder in with the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and I made a coffee caramel sauce that I want to pour on absolutely everything from now on. I baked it in my fancy swirl bundt pan but I think it would make a really great layer cake frosted with spiced cream cheese and drizzled with the sauce too. 

Coffee & Spice Pumpkin Cake with Coffee Caramel Sauce

For the cake:  
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon espresso powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10 cup bundt pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, espresso powder, baking powder, salt and spices.

In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, eggs, vegetable oil, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Stir in flour mixture until just combined.

Pour mixture into greased bundt pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes before turning out and allowing to cool completely.

While the cake is baking, make the coffee caramel sauce:
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons espresso powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons butter, softened
a pinch of salt

Warm the heavy cream slightly and stir in the espresso powder. Set aside.

In a heavy sauce pan, stir together the sugar and water. Heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Stop stirring and bring to a boil. Allow to boil until it turns amber in color. Remove from heat and slowly pour in the warmed cream, stirring as you do. Be careful, it will bubble up! Stir in the butter until melted. Allow to cool slightly and pour over cake.

Read More


Chocolate Chip Cookies No Eggs


Chocolate Chip Cookies without Eggs. Recipe makes 8 cookies

Cookies without eggs–your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe without eggs. Perfect when you’re out of eggs, or avoid eating them. Recipe makes just 8 cookies! There are a few reasons we’ve switched to a recipe for chocolate chip cookie without…

The post Chocolate Chip Cookies without Eggs appeared first on Dessert for Two.

Read More


Paleo Chicken Nuggets


When I was little, I had a slight obsession with chicken nuggets. They were my favorite item from the menu of greasy unhealthy food that was served at the pool snack bar. I would take any opportunity to have chicken nuggets, and my mom would buy frozen nuggets for me at home, but she probably got some sort of healthier option, and they were never as good. Sorry, mom. Thanks for trying.


.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }


We recently had to purchase an air fryer (this one) for some food photography we were hired to do, and after spending an entire day making things in the air fryer, I knew I needed to use this new purchase to make chicken nuggets, and relive my childhood in a healthier way.



We have had a bag of Pork Panko in the cupboard for a couple months, and since we don’t make fried or breaded food very often, we hadn’t used it yet. If I’m being honest, the idea of “breading” meat with pork rinds always made me turn up my nose, but when you try it, there’s no going back. It is really, really good, and you really can’t tell it’s not gluten.


(click to get it on Amazon. It’s worth it!)


For this recipe, I wanted to give these nuggets a little kick, so I seasoned the Pork Panko with our New Bae Seasoning. I love that the Pork Panko isn’t seasoned, because you have the opportunity to season it however you would like. So many of our spice blends would work well. I originally wanted to use our Adobo Seasoning, but then decided New Bae would be so much more fun.



Chicken fries up really nicely in the air fryer. I made sure to fry the chicken in batches, and only have one layer of chicken in the air fryer. I’m still new to this thing, but I’ve heard if you fill it up, things wont fry nicely. To be honest, we didn’t even look at the instructions to see what the company recommends you do.



Bill is the one who ordered the air fryer, and he went with Ninja. He said it had the best reviews on Amazon. I wish it wasn’t coated in non-stick, but unfortunately it is. We wont use it very ofter for that reason.



These nuggets don’t need any sort of dipping sauce, but you really can’t go wrong with honey mustard, so I whipped up a quick and easy honey mustard to serve with these. It was a very good choice. It was so delicious! To keep this recipe Whole30 friendly, you could just go with a Whole30 Approved condiment instead.



If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making nuggets, you can definitely make this recipe using whole thighs, or breast tenders. Either would be delicious. For whole thighs, plan on about 20 minutes at 400 in the air fryer, flipping every 6-7 minutes. Check for doneness in the thickest part of the thickest thigh to be sure they’re cooked through.



This recipe was really easy, pretty quick, and super delicious. I can’t wait to make it again!



Air Fryer Paleo Chicken Nuggets

Read More