Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake | Pinky's Pantry
This is an old recipe that I got from one of my first cookbooks many, many years ago. Hummingbird Cake is basically a banana-pineapple-nut cake. It’s moist, delicious, and absolutely addictive. I usually bake it in a bundt pan and serve it plain, but you could also bake it in three round cake pans and frost each layer with a cream cheese frosting. Either way is delicious and will have you humming with delight!

HUMMINGBIRD CAKE

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 can (8 ozs.) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease a bundt pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add the eggs, oil, vanilla, bananas, pineapple, and nuts, and stir together well.
  4. Pour into prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (In my oven, 50 minutes is perfect, but depending on your oven, this could take up to 70 or 80 minutes.)

NOTE: If desired, cake may be baked in three 9-inch round cake pans. If using three cake pans, bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool completely, then frost with cream cheese frosting.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 2 pkg. (8-oz. each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup salted butter or margarine, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. With an electric mixer set on medium-low speed, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  2. Add powdered sugar little by little, beating at low speed until blended.
  3. Stir in vanilla.
  4. Increase speed to medium-high, and beat until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.

Veggie Cream Cheese Roll-Ups

Veggie Cream Cheese Rollups | Pinky's Pantry
I stumbled across this recipe on justapinch.com. They have some great recipes on their website and this one was no exception. This yummy, vegetarian appetizer is great to serve at a party or take to a potluck. You can substitute lowfat cream cheese if you want to cut down on the fat. These colorful rolls look so pretty arranged on a platter. And the best part is….. they’re super easy to make!
Veggie Cream Cheese Rollups | Pinky's Pantry

VEGGIE CREAM CHEESE ROLL-UPS

  • 6 eight-inch flour tortillas (can use wheat, spinach, or tomato tortillas)
  • 2 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 envelope ranch dressing or dip mix
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • ½ small can (4.25 oz.) chopped black olives
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • ½ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • ½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  1. Beat cream cheese and ranch mix together until smooth and well-blended.
  2. Stir in chopped vegetables with a rubber spatula.
  3. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over tortillas.
  4. Roll up tortillas into logs and wrap each log in plastic wrap.
  5. Place tortilla logs in fridge to chill for at least 3 hours to set.
  6. Slice tortillas into ½-inch rounds before serving.

NOTE:

  • Can be served with salsa as a dip.
  • I don’t like a lot of olives in these rolls so I only use half a small can. Feel free to use the whole can if you like.

Pumpkin Squares with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Squares | Pinky's Pantry
Fall is pumpkin season. It’s the time when pumpkin farms do a booming business as people flock to them to pick out the pumpkins they want to carve into jack-o-lanterns for Halloween or put on display on their fall table centerpieces. But pumpkins don’t just make great decorations. They’re wonderful for eating, too!

Pumpkins make delicious soups, side dishes, and desserts. I mean what would Thanks-giving be without pumpkin pie? Well, this is an old recipe for the yummiest pumpkin cake you’ll ever bite into! Iced with cream cheese frosting and cut into squares, it’s a family favorite that’s ideal for taking to potlucks and office parties, too. It’s moist and delicious and my cream cheese frosting is the perfect showcase for the rich, not-too-sweet cake underneath it.

PUMPKIN SQUARES

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 can (15-oz.) pumpkin
  • 1⅔ cups sugar
  • 1 cup cooking oil
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs, pumpkin, sugar, and oil.
  4. Add the flour mixture and beat till well combined.
  5. Stir in chopped nuts, if desired.
  6. Spread batter in an ungreased 9×13-inch baking pan.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or till toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. Cool completely and frost with cream cheese frosting.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 1 pkg. (8 ozs.) cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  1. In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until fluffy.
  2. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth.

Blueberry Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole

Blueberry Cream Cheese French Toast | Pinky's Pantry
One of the nurses at work gave me her recipe for blueberry french toast several years ago. She loved it because it was very easy to make and could be prepared the night before so it was perfect to take to an office potluck. I had to agree with how easy it was to make, not to mention how delicious it was. I love biting into a little chunk of cream cheese when I’m eating it. The sweet-tart blueberries make the perfect backdrop to each creamy bite. And my blueberry sauce gives it just the right finishing touch.

I love making this casserole with brioche bread which is soft and silky and has a very thin crust. If you can get your hands on some brioche, give it a try. It makes a rich and wonderfully delicious french toast.

BLUEBERRY CREAM CHEESE FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE

  • 14 slices of white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 12 ozs. (1½ boxes) cream cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 12 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  1. Spread half the bread cubes in the bottom of a 9 x 13″ baking pan.
  2. Sprinkle with half the cream cheese cubes and half the blueberries.
  3. Cover with the other half of the bread cubes.
  4. Sprinkle with remaining cream cheese and blueberries.
  5. Mix the eggs, milk, and sugar together.
  6. Pour egg mixture over bread cubes in baking pan. Push bread down very lightly with a spatula to make sure top layer gets soaked. Don’t smash it down!
  7. Cover with foil and place in refrigerator overnight.
  8. Next day, remove from refrigerator about half an hour before putting in the oven.
  9. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  10. Bake covered for 30 minutes; then uncover and bake another 30-40 minutes or until firm.

BLUEBERRY SAUCE

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ cups blueberries
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • juice of one lemon
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  1. Combine the water and sugar together in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Add the blueberries and simmer until most of them have burst, about 10 minutes.
  4. Dissolve the cornstarch in the lemon juice.
  5. Add the cornstarch-lemon mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the butter.
  7. Serve sauce warm with french toast.

NOTE:  My kids like a lot of sauce so when I make this, I double the sauce recipe. You could also skip it and just serve this with plain syrup if you don’t feel like going the extra step of making the blueberry sauce.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting | Pinky's Pantry
I love cream cheese frosting. It’s one of my all-time favorite frostings. The way the tanginess of the cream cheese blends with the sweetness of the powdered sugar is absolutely delicious. Cream cheese frosting is most commonly used to ice carrot cakes, red velvet cakes, and pumpkin bars, but I don’t see why you couldn’t use it on a chocolate cake or some other kind of dessert. I actually have a really yummy pineapple cake recipe that calls for cream cheese frosting.

If your cream cheese and butter are at room temperature, whipping up a smooth and lump-free frosting is a piece of cake (pun intended). If your cream cheese is still cold, you can unwrap it, place it in your mixing bowl, microwave it for 30 seconds, stop the microwave to check how warm it is, then microwave another 30 seconds if necessary. Don’t microwave cream cheese too long because it can burn. Ask me how I know. And I wouldn’t recommend microwaving the butter to soften it. It melts just too darn fast. Ask me how I know that, too.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 1 pkg. (8 ozs.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  1. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together.
  2. Gradually beat in powdered sugar.
  3. Continue beating until smooth and fluffy.

Sopapilla Cheesecake

Sopapilla Cheesecake | Pinky's Pantry
This is one of the best desserts to serve for Cinco de Mayo! It’s so yummy with its gooey center and sweet, crunchy top. It goes great with a cup of coffee for a mid-afternoon snack, too. In fact, it’s delicious anytime! I usually serve it at room temperature, but you could serve it warm if you want to. We never seem to have any leftovers so I couldn’t tell you whether it’s good cold out of the fridge or not.
Sopapilla Cheesecake | Pinky's Pantry
There are a lot of variations of this recipe out on the internet. Mine isn’t much different from the others out there. It’s so easy to make and everyone loves it. You’ve got to give it a try. If you don’t have Mexican vanilla, use regular vanilla extract. Likewise, if you don’t have demerara sugar, just use regular white sugar. No. 1 really likes the crunch from the demerara sugar, though. This recipe is really versatile and no matter what you use, it’s always a big hit!
Sopapilla Cheesecake | Pinky's Pantry

SOPAPILLA CHEESECAKE

  • 2 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. Mexican vanilla extract
  • 2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls
  • ½ cup butter or margarine, melted
  • ⅓ cup demerara sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  2. Beat cream cheese, white sugar, egg, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.
  3. Place a piece of waxed paper down on your counter, open one can of crescent roll dough, then unroll the dough on the waxed paper.
  4. Pinch the seams together, and pat and stretch out the dough on top of the waxed paper to about the size of your baking dish. Just eyeball it. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
  5. Pick up the waxed paper, flip it over onto your baking dish, and carefully peel the waxed paper away. If one side of the dough is too short or too long, just pat it to fit the baking dish.
  6. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the crescent roll dough in the baking dish.
  7. Place another piece of waxed paper on your counter and open the second can of crescent roll dough, repeating the steps of pinching the seams and patting and stretching the dough to about the size of your dish.
  8. Flip the second rectangle of dough over the cream cheese mixture in the baking dish to form a top crust.
  9. Pour the melted butter evenly over the top crust.
  10. In a small bowl, stir together the demerara sugar and cinnamon.
  11. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over butter.
  12. Bake until crescent dough is puffed and golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  13. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into squares.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake | Pinky's Pantry
It’s a lazy Sunday morning at Casa Catastrophe with nothing more pressing to do than get caught up on missed TV episodes, so my daughter, Bashful, and I decided to bake this coffee cake that we found in one of my old Pillsbury cookbooks. Not only did it taste delicious, but it looked lovely! Like something purchased from a fancy bakery. It was pretty easy to make, too. Don’t let the lengthy list of ingredients or instructions scare you. The hardest part to me was getting the crust evenly up the sides of the springform pan. But don’t worry about making it perfectly even. Ours was such a mess but it turned out looking great!

RASPBERRY CREAM CHEESE COFFEE CAKE

  • 2¼ cups flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup butter or margarine
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup raspberry preserves
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  1. Heat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Grease with shortening and flour bottom and sides of 9 or 10-inch springform pan.
  3. In large bowl, mix flour and ¾ cup sugar.
  4. With pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  5. Reserve 1 cup crumb mixture.
  6. To remaining crumb mixture in bowl, stir in baking powder, baking soda, salt, sour cream, almond extract and 1 egg until blended.
  7. Spread batter about ¼-inch thick over bottom and 2 inches up sides of pan.
  8. In small bowl, mix cream cheese, ¼ cup sugar and 1 egg until blended.
  9. Pour into batter-lined pan.
  10. Carefully spoon preserves evenly over cream cheese mixture.
  11. In another small bowl, mix reserved crumb mixture and sliced almonds together.
  12. Sprinkle over preserves.
  13. Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until cream cheese filling is set and crust is deep golden brown.
  14. Cool 15 minutes; remove side of pan.
  15. Serve warm or cool.
  16. Store in refrigerator.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Rollups

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Roll-Ups | Pinky's Pantry
I saw a recipe for these roll-ups in a magazine years ago. I don’t remember which magazine it was, but I always remembered them and had it in the back of my mind to try them some day. Well, my Mom was here to visit and I wanted to fix her a cup of coffee and an afternoon snack to go with it so I thought it would be good to try making them today. I couldn’t find the recipe I copied down all those years ago, but I had a general idea of what to do. They turned out really yummy! Definitely one for the family favorite archives!
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Roll-Ups | Pinky's Pantry

CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE ROLLUPS

  • 1 loaf white bread
  • 1 pkg. (8 ozs.) cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ cup melted butter or margarine (add more as needed)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to  350ºF.
  2. Cut crusts off bread and save for later use. (I love making bread pudding with them.)
  3. Blend cream cheese, ¼ cup sugar, and vanilla in a small bowl until smooth.
  4. Spread a little cream cheese mixture on each slice of bread.
  5. Roll each slice into a log, pressing ends lightly to seal.
  6. Pour melted butter into a pie plate.
  7. In a second pie plate, combine 1 cup sugar and cinnamon.
  8. Roll each log in butter, then in cinnamon-sugar.
  9. Arrange on baking sheet.
  10. Bake for 16-19 minutes or until light brown.

Jam and Cream Cheese Bars

Jam & Cream Cheese Bars | Pinky's Pantry

Jam and cream cheese bars made with regular cream cheese. The cheese is more melty and gooey.

I wanted to try making something new for dessert so decided to browse through my old cookbooks in search of something easy and different. I saw this recipe for cream cheese danish in “Mr. Food Ooh-So-Easy Recipe Collection.” It sounded like it would be delicious. Of course, I had to give it my own twist so I changed a few things up. I added the jam and omitted the egg yolk. I also cut down on the sugar so it wouldn’t be too sweet. Then, instead of topping it with the egg white and pecans, I got the idea from a similar recipe on allrecipes.com to top it with butter and sugar, only I used turbinado sugar so it would have a nice crunch. It turned out great! The family loved it.

Jam & Cream Cheese Bars | Pinky's Pantry

Jam and cream cheese bars made with fat-free cream cheese. The cheese is firmer, though still soft.

I made it again a second time only this time, I decided to try doing a healthier version. I used reduced-fat crescent rolls, sugar-free jam, fat-free cream cheese sweetened with splenda, and a heart-healthy margarine which I cut down to 1/4 cup. It turned out really good! My only complaint was that I thought the healthier version seemed a bit salty. I think when fat is removed from a food, they replace it with salt to make up for the flavor that’s lost so using all the fat-free ingredients upped the saltiness quotient in the recipe. Still, it made a salty-sweet, creamy dessert that even those watching their waistlines could have a piece of without regretting it in the morning.

Whichever version you choose to make, this recipe is definitely a keeper. It would be equally good served as a dessert with coffee after dinner, or for breakfast or brunch in the morning.

JAM & CREAM CHEESE BARS

  • 2 cans refrigerated crescent roll dough
  • 1 cup jam (any kind you like)
  • 2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup margarine, melted
  • ¼ cup turbinado sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease a 9×13 inch pan.
  2. Press one can of the crescent rolls into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. Spread jam over crescent layer. Feel free to add more or less jam if you prefer.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, ½ cup sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla until smooth and creamy.
  5. Dollop cream cheese mixture over jam layer and spread smooth with a spatula.
  6. Unroll the second can of crescent rolls and place on top of the cream cheese layer. Do not press down.
  7. Pour the melted margarine over the top crescent layer, spreading it evenly to the edges.
  8. Sprinkle turbinado sugar all over the top.
  9. Bake 25 minutes or until top is crisp and golden.

To Make the Healthier Version:

  • 2 cans reduced-fat refrigerated crescent roll dough
  • 1 cup sugar-free jam (any kind you like)
  • 2 (8 oz.) packages fat-free cream cheese
  • ½ cup splenda
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup heart-healthy margarine (like Brummel & Brown), melted
  • ¼ cup turbinado sugar

Follow the same procedure above.

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cake | Pinky's Pantry
The first time I ever heard of Red Velvet Cake was when I watched the 1989 hit film, “Steel Magnolias.” In the movie, the groom’s Aunt Fern baked a red velvet groom’s cake in the shape of an armadillo. I know. I never heard of a Groom’s Cake either, but apparently it’s quite the tradition down South. Wedding cakes are usually made for the bride so they came up with a cake for the groom which is served during the rehearsal dinner (or the reception) and is usually shaped into something whimsical like a football, a race car, a basket of fishing tackle, a beer keg, or anything that reflects the groom’s personality, hobbies or interests.

I distinctly remember one part of the movie where Ouiser, the cantankerous old friend of the bride’s mother (played by Shirley MacLaine) cut and served the groom’s cake at the wedding reception. I’ll never forget how gross I thought it looked because it was all red like you were looking at the armadillo’s bloody innards. My horror quickly changed to laughter at the dialogue between Ouiser and Drum, the bride’s father (played by Tom Skerritt).

Ouiser:   I’m not speaking to you.
Drum:    Oh, what a shame.
Ouiser:   I mean it, Drum.
Drum:    Ouiser, can we call a truce long enough for me to get a piece of cake?
Ouiser lobs off the back end of the armadillo, plops it on a plate and hands it to Drum.
Drum:    Thanks, Ouiser. Nothin’ like a good piece of a – – .

Red Velvet Cake | Pinky's Pantry

RED VELVET CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ cups canola oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz.) red food coloring
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.
  3. In another bowl, gently beat together oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with electric mixer.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.
  5. Divide batter equally into prepared cake pans.
  6. Bake about 22-25 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  8. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 2 (8-oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  1. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth.
  2. Slowly beat in powdered sugar.
  3. Continue beating until frosting is smooth and fluffy.