Guest Post: Frozen Pink Pecan Birthday Pie

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Hey, there! Today we have another lovely guest post, this time from the ever-lovely Jill Donenfeld of The Culinistas. Jill recently had a birthday and she sent me the recipe for a celebration  appropriate Pink Pecan Birthday Pie. The photos below are by me and the recipe + post are from Jill. Enjoy!!

Well it’s post-birthday but I’m still riding high because of this awesome ice cream pie and the fact that Cindy wants to share the love.
I am so lucky to have this Cindy-tastic birthday epilogue in my life. I love my birthday because it’s a chance to see my friends all at once and it’s a chance for me to give everyone a little special gift for being in my life. This year, I was coming straight from a month in the country so I went with farm stand sunflowers.  And bindis. Everyone got bindis. But, that’s mostly because I wanted to wear one. Anyway. The other thing is that I love cake and pie and whipped cream and berries. So, birthdays are good for that, too.
Here we go…. make ‘er pretty Cindy…
Pink Birthday Pecan Pie
The crust is from my cookbook: Party Like a Culinista. It’s featured in the Apple Raisin Tart recipe and it’s the best crust ever.



Print Recipe

Pink Birthday Pecan Pie

For the crust:

3 cups pecans

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

3 TB sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1tsp salt

1/2 cup coconut oil

6 to 10 TB water

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Blend pecans and flour in a processor. Add sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Then add coconut oil. Add water as needed, if dough needs more bind. Turn dough out of food processor and press dough into a pie pan. Trim the excess. Refrigerate for 15 minutes covered in plastic wrap. Bake 15 minutes. Let cool then chill til cold. For the filling and


1 pint strawberry ice cream

1 cup pecans, chopped

2 TB butter

3 TB brown sugar

1 cup raspberries

1 pint heavy cream

3 TB powdered sugar

Spread ice cream evenly across crust. Place in freezer for two hours. Meanwhile, make the candied pecans by heating the butter and pecans over medium heat in a small pan. Add the sugar and stir until caramelized. Spread on a piece of wax paper and let cool. Next make the raspberry whipped cream by mixing the berries, the sugar, and the cream in a metal bowl and whipping using an immersion blender. When pie has set, top the ice cream with the whipped cream. Sprinkle with candied pecans. [/recipe]


The Birthday Gal! (photos courtesy of Jill)


Copyright Jill A. Donenfeld–2013


Orange Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting

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These days I can’t let a birthday pass without baking something festive. Something homemade and tailored to the birthday girl/boy’s specific taste. If there is ever a time to bust out a layer cake and sprinkles, it’s on a birthday.

I thought about Sean’s birthday cake for months–chocolate is always a given, and the orange was added because the dude loves the zesty-ness of oranges juxtaposed against deep, dark chocolate. I made this cake for my guy because it’s his favorite. Because he is the best guy who makes me laugh every single day, and he doesn’t even get annoyed by my constant stream-of-consciousness singing…seriously, I’m pretty sure it’s like living in a really bad musical about the minutiae of life…and in my book that’s more than enough to deserve a birthday cake.

The cake is easy to put together, with a nice crumb and perfect tenderness. Lots of orange zest makes it bright and flavorful. The chocolate frosting has sour cream that brings a bit of tang to cut the dark richness–it spreads across the cake like a dream and takes on a fudgey quality once it’s set. A heavy dose of sprinkles make it the perfect party cake. Candles and tall glasses of milk are optional, but highly recommended.

Orange Cake

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

2 3/4 cups cake flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 cup orange zest (I used 6 oranges)

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

3/4 cup orange juice

1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350*F. Line two 8inch round cake pans with parchment circles, grease the pans and the parchment, set aside.

In a bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large measuring cup whisk together the vanilla, orange juice, and sour cream. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, rub the orange zest into the sugar until fragrant. Add the melted butter and beat until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the bowl after each addition.  Add half of the dry ingredients, mix gently to combine, followed by the orange-sour cream mixture to combine, followed by the remaining dry ingredients, mix until just combined. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and bake in the center of the oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in pans on a cooling rack about 10 minutes before turning out and cooling completely.

Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting

Adapted slightly from Sky High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes

I subbed the corn syrup for golden syrup and added extra sour cream where the recipe called from half and half. 

12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped or in chips

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter

2 Tablespoons golden syrup

pinch of salt

3/4 cup sour cream, room temperature

Melt the chocolate, butter, golden syrup, and salt over a double boiler until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in the sour cream. Continue to whisk until spreadable, but still soft–use to frost the cake immediately. The frosting will set up to a fudge-like consistency at room temperature.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

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If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already heard that this weekend was my birthday. This year I turned 28…which marks 10 years, ONE DECADE, since high school.

Oh, man, has so much changed!

In the past 10 years I went to and gradated from college, met Sean and MARRIED him, learned how to bake, became a blogger, became a dog-mom, became an aunt, held a few very different jobs, lived in various dorms/apartments/houses/seedy-abodes, moved to Michigan from Nevada, and, throughout, I was mistaken, right, prideful, and humbled. There was excitement and fear, loss and new life, goodbyes and a lot of celebrations. 18-year-old me and 28-year-old me are different in so many ways! Life is both what I wanted it to be and different too, and I am super thankful for that. I mostly just feel gratitude that I’m a bit older and wiser, that I’m no longer 18, so insecure, and weirded out by life.

With all these years under my belt, I’ve learned that homemade cakes/cupcakes are what most people secretly want for their birthdays. Sometimes though, when your the only baker in your gang of peeps, you have to make your own birthday treats. It’s all good though, since as the designated baker of your gang, you’re probably used to it. The advantage is that you can make ANY treat you’d like for your birthday. The disadvantage…there are so many choices, it can get a little overwhelming. That’s what happened to me this year, I was overwhelmed by all of my options! So, when this sort of thing happens, I usually revert to a classic. Nothing says classic birthday like moist, vanilla-scented yellow cake, chocolate frosting, and a flurry of sprinkles.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting and Sprinkles

This recipe bakes exactly 12 cupcakes. I almost never have a need for more than a dozen cupcakes, so this recipe was perfect! The frosting is super easy to whip up and makes just enough to ice all of the cupcakes. The sprinkles are just a mix of things I had on hand…you can use whatever you want or do without. 


adapted from Joy the Baker

1 cup all-purpose flour

scant 3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 egg

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350*F

In the bowl of a mixer, or a large bowl with a hand held mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and butter. Beat ingredients together on low until a sandy consistency is achieved. Mix in half of the buttermilk until just incorporated.

Whisk together remaining buttermilk with egg and vanilla to combine well. Add to the flour mixture and beat just to combine, scraping the bowl as needed. Do not overmix.

Divide the batter among 12 paper lined muffin tins. Bake for about 20 minutes, until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool completely on wire racks before frosting.

Chocolate Frosting

adapted from Honey and Jam

5 ounces good quality dark chocolate

8 Tablespoons unsalted, room temperature butter

pinch of salt

3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

4-8 Tablespoons half and half

Fashion a double boiler and melt chocolate. Set aside until cooled completely.

In the bowl of a mixer beat butter until creamy. Add melted, cooled chocolate and mix to combine. Add salt, sugar, cocoa, and vanilla. Beat to combine and add half and half 1 Tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.