Coffee Break

close up picture of pink peony

Hey hey hey! Time to catch up on life again.

How are you? How’s your spring/summer going?

Life Update!

Oh my goodness, where on earth did the month of May go? Can you find it anywhere? I swear it was April 30th yesterday. We’ve had a nonstop calendar for the past several weeks, mostly work projects and house projects. We’re in the middle of getting a new roof, as well as various other home projects we’ve had on the back-burner for a couple years. I can’t believe we’ve lived here for 3 years already! PS: remember our kitchen remodel? Still my favorite room in the entire house. ?

We were in Philadelphia over the past weekend for a wedding and my dear friend’s baby shower. The wedding was at the beautiful Philadelphia Fairmount Water Works. If you’re local, have you ever been to an event there? The weather was perfect for an outdoor ceremony and reception.

I baked all the desserts for the baby shower! Thinking about adding “BABY SHOWER DESSERT MAKER” to my professional services. Ha! The mama-to-be requested confetti cupcakes, cake batter chocolate chip cookies, and lemon bars. Someone came up to me and told me they were the best cupcakes he’s ever had. Feel good moment! The weekend was so busy that I forgot to take a picture of the spread. Baker fail.

Noelle – 20 Months

Ok, who is this actual toddler and where did my baby go? Noelle is the light of our lives. Honestly, I could just stop there because that sentence totally embodies her. She is a pure ray of sunshine, giggles nonstop, has piercing blue eyes, talks in her own toddler language all day long, and darts through the house like a little firecracker. In fact, we always say that Noelle only knows two speeds: running and sleeping.

Her favorite words are mama, dada, pizza*, hat, hot, uh-oh, eat, and hi. ♥

*Pizza is actually PEE-ZAAAAAAA

Noelle loves tutus, swimming, high fives, bubbles, cheese, and collecting rocks. Not all in that order, as each is equally important to my little miss. She has a BIG personality all day long, but at the end of the day this girl just wants to snuggle in our laps. She’s perfect.

Those little piggy toes! 

By the way… if you need a fun outdoor toddler toy: pick up one of these play sinks. Her grandma and grandpa bought it for her. Now it’s not really marketed as an outdoor toy but when a toddler plays with it, water gets everywhere. Noelle wears her bathing suit and could play with this all day long if we let her! It’s such a fun toy.

What’s on Your Summer Bucket List?

Let’s talk about fun summer activities! What’s on your bucket list?

Here are some activities we’re planning:

  1. Weekend at the beach
  2. Throw a big BBQ party
  3. Family day trip to Hersheypark amusement park
  4. Family road trip to Cleveland (visiting friends!)
  5. Roast s’mores
  6. Make homemade ice cream
  7. Play in sprinklers
  8. Day trip to the zoo
  9. Catch lightning bugs
  10. Pick strawberries (or any fresh seasonal fruit!)

We all know that summer weekends fill up fast, so I’ll be happy if we tackle 75% of this list. And it’s always good to have free time for fun spontaneous activities too!

Organic strawberries

The Perfect One Layer Vanilla Cake

Remember the strawberry shortcake cake I published the other week? Take off the strawberries and whipped cream and you have the PERFECT one layer vanilla cake. If you ever need a simple vanilla cake for a small gathering, this is it. It fits into one 9-inch or 8-inch cake pan. Super buttery, moist, and soft. I topped it with vanilla buttercream and used Wilton 1M piping tip for the roses and swirls and, of course, Sweetapolita sprinkles. By the way, you can use code SALLYSBAKING15 for 15% off her sprinkles!

vanilla cake with pink vanilla buttercream and sprinkles

New pictures alert: Lemon Curd recently re-photographed!

Lemon curd in jar

June Sally’s Baking Challenge

June Baking Challenge recipe: Angel Food Cake

I consider June’s baking challenge to be intermediate. It’s not super easy, nor is it very complicated. I encourage you to read through the post entirely, including watching the video and checking out all the step-by-step pictures. While the recipe doesn’t require any advanced skill, it does call for very particular ingredients and mixing methods. If you don’t have a tube pan, you can make the angel food cupcakes in your muffin pan!

Top of angel food cake

Let’s see some of your angel food cakes so far:

King Arthur Flour Birthday Cake

I had the opportunity to work with King Arthur Flour last month! KAF invited me to bake their Recipe of the Year, the Classic Birthday Cake. This cake has an incredible butter flavor and uses a unique approach to mixing. Using warm milk, melted butter, and oil, you achieve a majorly moist and smooth buttery crumb. The chocolate frosting totally blew us away– it legit tasted like fudge. What intrigued me the most is the addition of water in the frosting– not milk or cream. The next time you need a birthday cake, I highly recommend this one.

I used Wilton piping tip 844 for the rose and star decoration. This cake was FUN!

birthday cake with chocolate frosting on blue cake stand

Piped decoration with chocolate frosting

Slice of birthday cake with candle

New Cookbooks on the Scene!

I have 4 new cookbooks in my collection and I can honestly say that these are some of my favorites. Let’s chat about each!

  1. Happiness is Baking by Maida Heatter, foreword by Dorie Greenspan. I was sent this cookbook from the publishing house and I’m truly so thankful to have received it. It’s a masterpiece! Maida Heatter is a wildly famous pastry chef. She’s dubbed the Queen of Cake and this cookbook is a collection of her best. Stay tuned because I’m sharing a recipe from this book next week!
  2. The Complete Baby and Toddler Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen. Literally every family with young children needs this cookbook. It includes an array of recipes including homemade purees for babies, toddler-friendly snacks, easy family meals, and more. I’m sharing a recipe from this book soon!
  3. My Little Pony Baking Book by Christi Johnstone. My sweet friend Christi authored a cookbook geared towards children who love My Little Pony! It’s filled with kid-friendly sweets and super happy rainbow-filled pictures. Recipes include Princess Pancakes, Cupcake Cones, Rainbow Bundt Cake, and more.
  4. Icing on the Cake by Tessa Huff. You know I’m a huge fan of Tessa’s work and this cookbook is no exception. Blackberry Lavender Cake came straight from these beautiful pages. If you appreciate lovely desserts, add this cookbook to your collection.

Happiness is Baking by Maida Heatter

Monthly Newsletter

The newsletter is here! Launched in April, the monthly email newsletter includes the month’s most popular recipe, reader recipe reviews, reader recipe photos shared on Instagram and in my Facebook Group, my current favorite baking tools, Sally’s Baking Challenge updates, and more!

If you’re currently on my email list, you’ll automatically receive the monthly newsletter. If you’re not and want to sign up, use the form below. I’ll send you new recipes and recipe updates as I publish them on my blog.

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I think that’s about it. Thanks for reading and have a great week!

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