WOW Your Mom by Making These Delicious Vanilla Tea Cakes from Pete's Sweets!

Image Courtesy of Pete's Sweets

Image Courtesy of Pete's Sweets

We’re so excited to share a delicious recipe made by our wonderful friend Peter Gray of Pete’s Sweets! These tea cakes so so light and yummy and are sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Tea Cake Ingredients:                                                         

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cups pure cane sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 ¼ cups cake flour
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 2½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions:

Image Courtesy of Pete's Sweets

Image Courtesy of Pete's Sweets

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 9 X 13 cake pan with parchment paper, making sure the paper hangs over the sides of the pan. Grease and flour the parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, and scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are well combined.
  4. Place the cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  5. Combine the milk and vanilla in a measuring cup. Alternate adding the milk/vanilla mixture and the dry mixture to the whipped butter/sugar mixture. Beat on medium speed for 1½ minutes, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, add the remaining milk mixture, and beat for another 30 seconds.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula. Bake 30-35 minutes or until the cake is golden over the entire surface and a toothpick comes out free of batter or crumbs when inserted into cakes center.
  7. Cool cake completely before assembling tea cakes.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream

Instructions:

Image Courtesy of Pete's Sweets

Image Courtesy of Pete's Sweets

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with an electric hand mixer), beat the butter at medium speed for 2-3 minutes, or until pale in color and fluffy.
  2. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter.
  3. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time. Optionally, you can add in a few drops of natural food coloring.

Assembling The Cakes:

  1. Once the cakes are completely cool use a serrated knife to carefully slice the cake lengthwise, to create 2 thinner cake layers.
  2. Using a 1 ½-2 inch round cookie cutter, punch out small cake disks. (Cut the disks out as close as possible, to maximize yield)
  3. Load the buttercream icing into a piping bag fitted with a star piping tip, or use a gallon size zip top bag with one corner snipped to pipe a small dollop of icing onto the top of one single cake disk, sandwich another cake disk atop the iced cake and repeat this process to create a small stack (3-4 layers of cake per individual Tea Cake).
  4. Top with icing and decorate with flowers, fresh fruit, or powdered sugar.

Trending Now: Groom Cakes

IMAGE SOURCE: @PAULRETHERFORD  

IMAGE SOURCE: @PAULRETHERFORD
 

Most of the time, the bride tends to have the heavier hand in the wedding planning process. This can often times leave the groom without a say or his taste really showing through. That's why we love the trend of having a groom cake at your wedding! A groom cake is a smaller cake you serve along side your traditional wedding cake that is designed by the groom himself. This cake can reflect his style or personality in a theme of his choosing! Looking for inspiration for your groom cake? Check out some of our favorites below.

Valentine's Day Dessert

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The perfect way to end your homemade Valentine’s Day dinner is, of course, a homemade dessert! We wanted to again stray from the traditional and bring you a cake that is easy to make, but also takes time and love! This New York Cheesecake with Graham Cracker/Pretzel Crust and Salted Caramel Sour Cream Top is sure to wow and satisfy!


INSTRUCTIONS

Adjust a center rack and preheat the oven to 325℉. Line the bottom of an 8” round spring form pan with parchment paper.

FOR THE CRUST Pulse enough pretzels in a food processor to get 1 cup of course pretzel crumbs and remove the pretzel crumbs. Pulse enough graham crackers in the food processor to get another cup of crumbs. Put the pretzel crumbs back into the food processor along with 12 tbsp. cold butter (chopped in tbsp. sized pieces) and ½ cup granulated sugar. We used vanilla sugar from our leftover crème brûleé recipe! Put on high until combined, about 30 seconds. Pour crust into the pan and push flat (use the bottom of a measuring cup to get the edges!). Slightly toast the crust in the oven for 10 minutes.

FOR THE FILLING While your crust is toasting, make your filling. In the food processor cream 1½ lbs. (3, 8 oz. packages) of room temperature cream cheese on high until smooth. Add ¾ cups granulated sugar and mix until combined. Slowly add your 5 eggs, one at a time, and 1 tsp. vanilla  (or ½ tsp. vanilla if using vanilla sugar) until combined. With the food processor on low, slowly pour in 1½ cups of heavy cream. This will completely fill your food processor so just be careful the lid is on tight!

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Scrape the edges of the processor to make sure there are no lumps and mix for 30 seconds more. If your filling still has lumps, strain through a wire mesh strainer. Pour the filling into the warm pan with the toasted crust. Bake for 1 hour, then turn the oven off and cool in the oven to room temperature with the oven door cracked slightly. This prevents the cheesecake from splitting. Once at room temp store in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

FOR THE TOPPING To make the caramel sauce, heat 1 cup granulated sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until it turns just golden in color. Stir until all the sugar is melted and turns amber in color. Turn the heat to low and add stir in 4 oz. unsalted butter until melted. Add ¾ cup heavy cream 1 tsp. vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt and mix until it all comes together, about 8 minutes. Don’t stop stirring! Pour the caramel sauce into a glass jar and let come to room temperature before refrigerating. It can be kept up to two weeks! When the cheesecake is ready to serve, mix ¾ cup sour cream and the salted caramel together and spread on top!

FOR THE GARNISH If you would like to garnish your cheesecake, line the top edge with pretzels! If you feel like you’re missing some color, feel free to serve with a raspberry sauce! Simply combine ½ cup sugar and 6 oz. raspberries in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar has melted and the raspberries are a liquid like consistency. Mix often. Strain the raspberry mixture through a mesh strainer into a small cup or pitcher. Serve warm for a more liquid texture, or refrigerate until cool for a thicker texture!

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Recipe & Image Source: The Kitchy Kitchen


Our Favorite Dessert in a Mug Recipes!

IMAGE SOURCE: BLDG 25

IMAGE SOURCE: BLDG 25

If you’re anything like us, you have sweet tooth cravings all the time. But, making a dessert takes too much time, and you cannot be trusted to eat just one serving. To keep your sweet tooth and self control in check, we are sharing three delicious microwave mug dessert recipes! Each takes less than five minutes to prepare and cook, and can be made in a microwave safe mug or ramekin!


CHURRO IN A MUG
 

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In a mug mix 4 tbsp. flour, 2 tbsp. sugar, ⅛ tsp. baking powder, 1/16 tsp. baking soda, and ¼ tsp. cinnamon. Add 3 tbsp. milk and 1 tbsp. vegetable oil and mix until smooth.

Spoon 1 tbsp. crushed chocolate chips into the center and microwave for 1 minute until the cake has risen and is firm in the center. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top!


FRENCH TOAST IN A MUG

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Lightly grease the inside of a mug with cooking spray. Add 1 egg, 1 tsp. sugar, ¼ tsp. cinnamon, ¼ tsp. vanilla extract, and ¼ cup milk and beat together.

Add 2 diced slices of bread (we used sourdough) and push down into the egg mixture so all of the bread is coated. Microwave for 1½ minutes. Serve with whipped cream and maple syrup!


NUTELLA BROWNIE IN A MUG

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Mix 4 tbsp. flour, 4 tbsp. sugar, 3 tbsp. Nutella, 3 tbsp. water, 3 tbsp. vegetable oil, and ½ tsp. vanilla extract in a mug. If too dry add ½ tbsp. more water at a time until it reaches a brownie batter consistency.

Microwave for 45 seconds. Serve with whipped cream and fresh fruit!


RECIPES SOURCED & ADAPTED FROM:

Churro: Gemma's Bigger Bolder Baking

French Toast: Lazy Ass Meals

Brownie: Cherry Tea Cakes


Warm Sticky Figgy Pudding

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This holiday season we wanted to recreate a classic (and normally unfavorable) dessert into modern and delicious dish, so we are bringing you some figgy pudding! Dating back to 16th century England, figgy pudding is traditionally a cake filled with raisins, currants, and brandy! To give this dessert a modern twist, the raisins are substituted with figs and a warm sticky caramel sauce is poured over the cake to make it resemble a (bread) pudding by today's standards. This dessert is sweet, savory, and most importantly delightful!


WARM STICKY FIGGY PUDDING


Total Time: 2 hours

Makes: 12 servings

Ingredients:

For the Caramel Sauce:

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 14 tbsp. unsalted butter

For the Pudding:

  • 1 ½ cups dried & pitted dates, chopped
  • ½ cup dried figs, chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 7 tbsp. Unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ cups self rising flour
  • 2 ½ oz. dark chocolate, grated
  • Butter for coating ramekins
  • Ice cream or whipped cream for garnish
  • Fresh figs, quartered for garnish
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Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350℉.

Add dates, dried figs, and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove pan from heat and stir in baking soda. Let cool for 5 minutes, then puree in a blender.

Using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Fold in the four, chocolate, and pureed date mixture.

Put the mixture into  buttered ramekins, filling halfway or slightly under. Put in the oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Prepare the sauce by stirring sugar and heavy cream in a saucepan over low heat. Simmer until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the butter and stir until incorporated.

Remove the ramekins from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. They may be served in the ramekins or unmolded onto a serving plate. With a paring knife cut a cross into the top of the puddings for the sauce.

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Pour sauce into the cross in the center of the puddings, then pour more sauce over the puddings and allow to soak in slightly. Garnish with fresh figs, vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream. Serve warm and enjoy!

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Notes & Tips:

Create your own superfine sugar by placing granulated sugar in a food processor and pulsing until sugar becomes fine.

Create your own self rising flour: for each cup of flour add 1 ½ tsp. baking powder and ¼ tsp. salt and whisk until combined. For this recipe add 3 ¾ tsp. baking powder and ¾ tsp. salt to the 2 ½ cups of AP flour.

If you don’t have ramekins, you can make the puddings in a greased Bundt or muffin pan!

To add a little adult flair to your figgy pudding, add 1-2 tbsp. rum extract to your batter in the same step as adding your eggs.


Recipe courtesy of Food Network

Girls Night In Food Guide

Image Source: Inspired By This

Image Source: Inspired By This

You deserve a fun girls night in with your friends this weekend! To help your last minute planning be stress free, we’ve created a menu for the night! Complete with drinks, appetizer, dinner, and dessert, your friends will be begging you for the recipes! And each recipe takes thirty minutes or less!


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Here are two amazing drink options, one alcoholic and one non-alcoholic, so everyone can enjoy!

Apple Cider Margarita (serves 2)

For the Salted Rim: in a shallow dish mix ⅛ tsp. of each ground cinnamon and ground ginger, and ½ tsp. coarse salt. Rub a lime wedge around the rim of each glass, and turn glass upside down into the salt mixture to coat. Fill glasses with ice.

For the Margarita: add 3 oz. tequila, 2 oz. fresh lime juice, and 3 oz. of apple cider to a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into the glasses. Top drinks with ginger beer (about 1.5 oz. each) and garnish with apple slices!

 

Sparkling Blood Orange Mocktail (serves 2)

In a medium bowl whisk 1 cup of blood orange juice, and ½ tsp. each of ginger powder and turmeric powder.

Add ice, half of the juice mixture, and ½ cup of club soda to each glass. Add sweetener (honey, maple syrup, agave) if desired.

Garnish with mint and rosemary leave, and an orange slice!


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Appetizer

These pear and prosciutto triangles with triple cream brie are the perfect appetizer. They are cheesy (yum!), sweet, savory, and finger food! (makes 9 triangles)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 425℉ and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

On a non-stick surface, or the parchment paper, cut 1 sheet of thawed  puff pastry into 9 equal squares. Spread ½ tbsp. of fig jam in the center of each square, and place 1 slice of pear (cut to fit if needed) and 1 slice of prosciutto on top of the jam. Equally divide 3 oz. of Brie amongst the 9 squares, and carefully pull and fold one edge of each of the squares across to form triangles. Gently press the edges of the triangles together to seal.

Brush each triangle with the egg wash, from 1 egg, and evenly sprinkle 2 tbsp. of fresh pistachios and 2 tsp. of fresh thyme, if using, overtop. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly then drizzle with the honey. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Dinner

A light spaghetti dinner cures your carbohydrate cravings and helps you save room for dessert! This spaghetti with sun-dried tomatoes and pecorino romano is delicious and only takes 20 minutes! (serves 4) Pair it with a side caesar or caprese salad!

Instructions:

Boil a well salted pot of water. Cook 16 oz. of spaghetti slightly al dente. While the pasta cooks, start the rest of the dish. Make sure to reserve about ½ cup of the pasta water!

Place ½ cup of olive oil and 2 sliced garlic cloves in a cold skillet over low heat. Cook gently for about 5 minutes to infuse the oil with the garlic. Do not burn the garlic or your oil will taste bitter! Add 14 sliced sun-dried tomatoes to the pan with garlic and olive oil and evenly spread out tomatoes.

Add the cooked pasta to the skillet, along with a pinch of chili flakes, and toss to combine. Add the pasta water and increase the heat. Cook until the water is gone - about one minute. Stir in ½ cup of pecorino romano, and serve, topped with a bit more pecorino romano, black pepper, and julienned basil. Enjoy!


Dessert

Dessert is the best part of the night, and these mini cinnamon rolls will make you cry with happiness. They are cute, gooey, sweet, and only take ten minutes to make! (makes 16 mini rolls)

For the rolls: preheat the oven to 350℉. Lay out half of an 8 oz. tube of crescent roll dough (four triangles) and pinch the seams together. Flip over and repeat. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a ¼" thick square.

Brush with 1 tbsp. of melted butter and sprinkle with as much brown sugar and cinnamon as you desire. Roll into a log and cut into 8 pieces. Repeat with the other half of the dough, and place pieces into a greased non-stick mini muffin tin. Bake for about 8 minutes until the dough is slightly brown. Cool on a wire rack.

For the icing: whisk 1 tsp. maple syrup, 1 tbsp. milk, and ¾ cup powdered sugar in a bowl and drizzle over cooled mini cinnamon rolls!


How-To: Friendsgiving

Image Source: House of Jade

Image Source: House of Jade

Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays of the year; you can eat as much food as you want, drink yummy cocktails, and lounge around all day watching (or pretending to watch) sports and chatting with your family. However, not everyone can celebrate with family and that is OK! In lieu of Thanksgiving, have yourself a Friendsgiving with all your closest friends! Friendsgiving is the perfect way to show your friends how much you appreciate them and a lot less stressful than hosting for your family (no more unwelcomed questions about your love life from Aunt Martha). Never hosted a Friendsgiving before? Well, we’ve come up with a how-to Friendsgiving hosting guide to help you in your quest for throwing the perfect holiday celebration!


INVITES

Take the time to send your guests invites to your Friendsgiving gathering. This little extra action shows your friends you really want them to attend, and it’s a refreshing reminder that paper invites are much more elegant than e-vites (plus who doesn’t love getting mail?!). Make sure your invites include your address, RSVP-by date, and any instructions about bringing a dish or dessert to lessen your cooking load!


FOOD

Let’s be real, food is the most important part of this holiday, so make your spread the star of the night.

Appetizers: Appetizers should be light finger foods that won’t fill up your guests before dinner. Charcuterie boards are the perfect appetizer option; you can customize it however you’d like and it offers a great number of options for your guests.

Dinner: The sit down dinner is the highlight of the party. Serve food family style (in your most stylish serving dishes) and enjoy the quality time you have with your friends. Go around the table and give thanks for all things you appreciate in your life.

Dessert: Dessert should be placed on its own table before dinner. This will alleviate the task of setting up the dessert table after you’re stuffed with turkey and potatoes. Offer coffee and tea so your guests can wind down and digest with a warm drink.


DRINKS

Prepare a signature drink, such as a sangria or cranberry cocktail, for everyone to enjoy. Have a selection of wine, beer, and non alcoholic beverages to cover everyone’s preferences. Now is a great opportunity to utilize that dusty bar cart in the corner of your living room!


DECOR

Your decor should be festive and sophisticated. Gravitate towards fall decor (leaves, gourds, pumpkins) and Thanksgiving staples (turkeys and cornucopias). Put up wall art, decorate the mantle, and add floral arrangements to each room. Place a festive wreath on your front door for a notable first impression of your decorative skills.


TABLESCAPE

The dining table must be inviting, comfortable, and beautiful. Let your table settings be neutral and add color with a table runner or centerpiece. Decorate the table with festive items such as pumpkins and corn, and incorporate candles to elevate your tablescape. Make sure there is enough room for your serving dishes!


Fall Dessert Inspiration Board

Fall is here! -and while you trade in your sandals for cute ankle boots, you can also trade in your bright and fruity summer food palate for a more savory and spicy fall one. Fall flavors are defined by bright punches of spice like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, as well as the savory tastes of squash, figs, and root vegetables. We love highlighting fresh and in-season food in our desserts, and these recipes combine sweet dessert elements with the spice and savory flavors of fall to produce the tastiest seasonal baked goods. We hope to inspire you to step out of your pumpkin spice comfort zone and try a recipe with a more daring flavor combination-- you won’t be disappointed!

Peach Streussel Muffins

Baking with fresh summer fruits is the easiest way to elevate your homemade desserts. These delightfully fresh peach streusel muffins are the perfect summer breakfast, snack, or dessert, and are guaranteed to impress your family and friends.


Yields: 12 muffins    Time: approx. 55 min total

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temp

  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

  • 2 large eggs, room temp

  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt

  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1 ¾ cups AP flour

  • 1 tsp. baking soda

  • 1 tsp. baking powder

  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 1/8 tsp. allspice

  • ½ tsp. salt

  • 3 tbsp. milk (any kind)

  • 1 ½ cups peeled, chopped peached (about 3 peaches) OR frozen, not thawed, chopped peaches

Image Credit:  Sally's Baking Addiction
 
Image Credit:  Sally's Baking Addiction
 
 
 

Crumb Topping:

  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar

  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

  • 2/3 cup AP flour

Glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

  • 3 tbsp. heavy cream

  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract


Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F, and spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray.

  2. Make the crumb topping: In a medium bowl, combine both sugars, cinnamon, and melted butter, then slowly stir in the flour. The crumb topping will be thick and crumbly. Set aside.

  3. Make the muffins: In a stand mixer, with fixed paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy (~1 min). Add both sugars and beat on high until creamed (~2 min), scraping the sides as needed. Add eggs, yogurt, and vanilla extract on medium-high speed until incorporated.

  4. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add flour mixture to the wet ingredients until no streaks remain. Add in the milk and mix until incorporated.

  5. Hand-fold peaches into batter with a rubber spatula.

  6. Fill the muffin pan with the batter to the top. Press a handful of crumble to cover the top of each muffin. Crumble some between your fingers for extra chunks of crunchy goodness!

  7. Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F, then reduce heat to 350°F for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack while making the glaze.

  8. Making the glaze: Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.

  9. Gently pop out muffins and place on a wire rack with paper towels below to catch extra glaze. Using a spoon or small pastry bag, drizzle glaze over warm muffins and enjoy!

  10. Make ahead tip: Muffins will stay moist and fresh in a sealed container on the counter for 3 day or in the refrigerator for up to 5. Muffins can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Just thaw in the refrigerator before eating!


Pro Tips

  • To easily peel slightly over-ripe peaches score the bottom of the peaches with an “X” and place in boiling water for 20-50 seconds until the skin begins to peel away from the score. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and place directly into an ice bath until cool enough to touch. The skin should peel right off! (If using under-ripe peaches a vegetable peeler works perfectly!)

  • You can use a plastic sandwich bag as a makeshift pastry bag! Just cut a very small hole in one corner and fill the bag with the glaze. It makes for a more precise drizzle than a spoon.


 

Fun Twist on the Classic S'more

Image Credit:  bippityboppityboo

Image Credit: bippityboppityboo

What’s more fun than sitting around the bonfire in the warm, summer nights and roasting some yummy marshmallows?! Even though we love the classic campfire treat, there’s a variety of different desserts that put a spin on the beloved s’mores! You can make mouthwatering s’mores cupcakes topped with a marshmallow frosting and graham cracker crumbs, or gooey s’mores bars! Here’s one of our favorite s’mores twists – S’mores Dip! 

Image credit:  Five Heart Home

Image credit: Five Heart Home

  • ½ tbsp. butter 
  • 1 ½ cup chocolate chips 
  • 15 jumbo marshmallows, halved 
  • graham cracker squares 
  1. Place a skillet in the oven and preheat oven to 450° (with skillet inside). 
  2. Once oven is preheated, remove skillet and coat it with butter. 
  3. Pour chocolate chips into the bottom of the skillet.
  4. Arrange marshmallow halves over the chocolate chips, covering the chocolate completely. 
  5. Back 5-7 mins or until marshmallows are perfectly toasty! 
  6. Serve immediately with graham cracker squares 

National Chocolate Mousse Day

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Attention all chocolate lovers! Today is National Chocolate Mousse Day, and what better way to recognize one of the tastiest foods than to share one of our favorite mousse recipes with you! With just a few ingredients, you'll be on your way to chocolate heaven!

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8 ounces Milk Chocolate Chips

6 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons vanilla

2 cups heavy whipping cream

¼ cup powdered sugar

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1.     Melt the milk chocolate chips and water in a saucepan (double boiler)

2.     Whisk the vanilla in the chocolate and let it cool to room temperature

3.     Whip the cream until it makes soft peaks, and then add the powdered sugar

4.     Fold the cooled chocolate mixture into the whip cream mixture until it is well combined

5.     Top with extra whipped cream or chocolate drizzle and enjoy!