Pumpkin Shaped Pastel Sugar Cookies

Sweet and delicious jack-o-lantern sugar cookies with a cute chocolate chip smile!

It is almost Halloween! Halloween is less than a week away, and I want to share my favorite Halloween dessert! My mom has been making these cookies with my siblings and me since before I was born. She got this recipe from her 1001 Cookie Recipes Cookbook, and over the years, we have figured out how to make this recipe as delicious and easy as possible!

These pumpkin sugar cookies are a fun and perfect Halloween dessert. They are light and soft with a perfect amount of sweetness. We add a chocolate chip jack-o-lantern face for spooky spirits. These cookies are so cute for the Halloween season!

This recipe is very simple. Begin with mixing the ingredients to form the dough. Take 1/8 of the dough, and dye this small amount of dough green for the stem of the pumpkin. I like to keep the remaining dough in the bowl of the stand mixer to mix in the orange dye. When dying the dough, keep in mind that after baking, the color of the cookie lightens up a little bit.

The dough definitely needs to be chilled before cutting and baking because the dough is very soft. After years of making these cookies, I have found that it is easiest to roll out the dough prior to chilling so it is easier to transfer onto a baking sheet. The dough should be rolled about 1/4-inch thick. Once I cut 3-inch circles out of the dough, I re-roll it between the parchment paper and put that sheet of dough back in the refrigerator. I then begin cutting the next chilled sheet of dough. Then, take a small amount of chilled green dough and shape it into a small rectangle for the stem. Gently press it into the top of the circle to make the pumpkin. Lastly, use chocolate chips to make a cute smile on each cookie! You can also use raisins for this.

Bake for 7-10 minutes at 350 degrees F. The cookies will not brown too much. Let them cool on wire racks and enjoy!

I would love to see your jack-o-lantern sugar cookies on social media! I can’t wait to see your creations! You can tag me on Instagram @beyondbakingwithamamdajane and use the hashtag #beyondbakingwithamandajane! Happy baking!

Pumpkin Shaped Pastel Sugar Cookies

  • Servings: 3 dozen cookies
  • Rating: ★★★★★
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  • 3 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 6 Tablespoons milk


  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar.
  3. Beat in the egg yolks. Beat in the milk.
  4. Gradually add in the dry ingredients until dough is formed.
  5. Remove about 1/8 of the dough, and dye green for the stems. Dye the rest of the dough orange.
  6. Divide the orange dough into 3 pieces. Roll each piece between two sheets of parchment paper until 1/4 inch thick. Place all 3 sheets of dough on a tray and chill for 3-4 hours. Press the green dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap to chill.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Once chilled, cut 3-inch circles in the orange dough and place on a parchment lined baking tray. Take a small piece of green dough and shape into a rectangle and press one end on top of the pumpkin. Decorate with chocolate chips.
  9. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes.

Taste tested by friends and family with love.

3 Ingredient, Easy and Energizing Chia Peanut Butter Oat Bites

Simple, filling, and healthy vegan chia peanut butter balls for quick energy

I am in week seven of being back on campus for my sophomore year, and I am getting tired of the pre-made food that is in the dining hall. Although I don’t have the space and equipment to do my normal baking, I have the dining hall to get basic ingredients for quick and easy recipes! I am sharing one of my favorite things to make while I am at school with only ingredients that I can get from the dining hall.

These vegan peanut butter energy balls are very simple to make, and they are perfect for on-the-go, quick energy. I love to bring these to the library with me when I know it’s going to be a long night of studying, and it helps keep me awake. These energy balls are also a refreshing post-workout snack especially if you eat them straight from the refrigerator or freezer! This is an easy, 3 ingredient recipe that is perfect for a quick energy boost.

I do not have a car on campus, so I am relying on getting all ingredients for this recipe at my dining hall on my meal plan. I am able to get the oats from the pre-packaged, microwaveable instant oatmeal cups, and I can get the chia seeds from the salad bar area. Getting the peanut butter is more complicated this year because, with all the Covid precautions my school is taking, we no longer have a “spreads station” where I would normally scoop as much peanut butter as I need into a takeout container. Instead, they have a basket of small Smucker’s 3/4 oz packets of peanut butter for us to take. So, after every meal, I grab a few from the basket and keep them in my room. I have been stocking up on these mini peanut butter packets just so I could make these snacks!

Making these energy balls is simple. Seeing as how I don’t have measuring cups here at school, I eyeball everything and alter it based on the consistency of the batter. I mix about one part peanut butter to two-part oats with a big scoop of chia seeds. I used about seven of the 3/4oz peanut butter packets, about a cup of oats, and a couple of spoons of chia seeds to make ten energy balls. The “dough” shouldn’t be too wet where the peanut butter is excessively sticking to your hands and it shouldn’t be too dry where the ball won’t stay together. Roll the dough into balls and put in the refrigerator or freezer in an air-tight container! You can make these energy bites as big or as small as you want. I like to make mine bite-size, about a Tablespoon to Tablespoon and a half big.

Keep in mind that this is a very basic recipe. Feel free to spice it up and add in your own ingredients! You can add in nuts, raisins, chocolate chips, m&m’s, different types of seeds, the possibilities are endless! For peanut allergies, you can also use another type of nut or seed butter, and you can even make these energy balls gluten-free by just use gluten-free oats! Find your favorite combination and let me know what you like best!

For those of you making this recipe with the luxury of measuring utensils, the recipe is below! Give these energy balls a try, and tag me with your creations @beyondbakingbyamandajane on Instagram! Enjoy!

3 Ingredient, Easy and Energizing Peanut Butter Oat Bites

  • Rating: ★★★★★
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  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, or nut or seed butter of choice
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/4 cup nuts (optional)


  1. Stir all of the ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Shape the dough into desired size.
  3. Optional: sprinkle sea salt on top of each ball.
  4. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Taste tested with love by family and friends.

Dad’s Apple Pecan Crumb Bread

A fall favorite. Flavorfully moist apple bread with a nutty buttery crunch crumb topping

It is really starting to feel like fall here in North Carolina! In honor of fall, I want to share my dad’s apple bread recipe. This recipe is a family recipe from my dad, and he made this bread for my mom when they were dating. My mom liked it so much, she even added it to her recipe book!

Although we haven’t baked this bread in a while, it used to be a staple in my house when I was younger. We would always make this bread after we went apple picking. What else would we do with 15 pounds of apples? By the end of fall, we would have eaten 10 loaves of apple bread!

Originally, there was no crumb topping on this bread (that’s my addition!). However, I think the crumbs provide an extra crunch and texture to the bread that makes it taste even better and makes it more interesting! The crumbs also add a little bit of sweetness to the crust which brings everything together perfectly.

When making this bread, you don’t even have to peel the apples! I personally think that having the skin on the apple adds to the texture of the inside of the bread, and let’s be honest, it is just easier to not peel the apples. If you do not want the skin, you can feel free to peel them, it will be just as yummy! Do what you like best! The rest of the recipe is pretty straight forward.

When you are adding the crumbs on top, I like to press together a few really big crumbs and push them into the batter slightly, then cover it up with smaller crumbs. Doing this will create pockets of buttery and nutty deliciousness within the moist bread!

I would love to see you guys making this recipe! Tag me in your creations on Instagram @beyondbakingwithamandajane

Dad's Yummy Apple Crumb Bread

  • Servings: 1 Loaf
  • Rating: ★★★★★
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    For the bread:
  • 2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups raw apple chunks, 2-3 apples
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • For the crumb:
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoon + 2 teaspoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • pinch of salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each edition.
  4. Gradually stir in the flour mixture until just combined.
  5. Add cubed apples, milk, vanilla, and chopped pecans. Mix until just combined.
  6. In a separate bowl, make the crumb topping. Stir the flour, sugars, cinnamon, and salt together. Cut in the softened butter until you have crumbs. Sprinkle on top.
  7. Bake for 50-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Taste tested by friends and family with love.

Refreshing Lemon Yogurt Pound Cake

Flavor packed, moist, and zesty lemony pound cake.

Lemon pound cake is a perfect summer dessert, and it is definitely a family favorite. My mom has been making this cake for a while now, and over the past few years, I have been trying to master the recipe. We have shared this recipe with the rest of our family and extended family and friends, and it has been such a hit! Whenever we make this cake, it’s gone within minutes. People are coming back for seconds before some people even get their first serving!

This cake does not use any artificial flavoring, like lemon extract, to get the powerful lemon flavor. It is naturally flavored with real lemon juice and lemon zest. It is crucial to use real lemons to make this cake taste like lemony perfection. The lemon zest adds a whole new level of flavor and liveliness to the batter as opposed to using just lemon juice, but the real secret ingredient is the full-fat Greek yogurt. And if you can find it in vanilla flavor, it’s even better! The full-fat yogurt makes the cake unbelievably moist with a tight crumb, silky texture. The vanilla flavoring adds a little something extra, but the cake is still fabulous with the plain yogurt. Without the yogurt, the cake would be less flavorful and dry. Lastly, I love to top this cake off with a tangy glaze to elevate the flavors of this cake.

When it comes to making this cake, it is pretty straight forward. I like to zest and squeeze the lemons first because it is the messiest and stickiest part of the recipe. After that, the rest of the recipe is a piece of (lemon pound) cake!

When baking, you have to watch the cake carefully to make sure the top doesn’t get too brown. After about 30-45 minutes, I like to loosely cover the top of the cake with foil to prevent it from browning too much. When you do this, make sure the foil covers the whole top. The cake will be done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Once completely cooled, drizzle the glaze on top until you have your design the way you like it!

This cake is definitely a hit, and I hope you try this summery cake before summer comes to an end! Tag me on Instagram with your creations @beyondbakingwithamandajane

Refreshing Lemon Yogurt Pound Cake

  • Servings: 1-12 cup Bundt pan
  • Rating: ★★★★★
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    For the cake
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 4 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt (vanilla flavored, if you can find it)
  • For the glaze
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip together the butter, sugar, and lemon zest until very light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Beat in the lemon juice.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  4. In a medium size bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
  5. Add half of the dry mixture to the stand mixer, then add the Greek yogurt, then the remainder of the flour, stirring after each addition. Do not over mix.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 65-75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.
  7. When completely cooled, remove the cake from the Bundt pan.
  8. In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners sugar, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, and zest (if desired). Add the remining lemon zest until a thick yet pourable glaze forms. Pour over cake and serve.

Taste tested by friends and family with love.

Classic Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

Soft and fluffy, sweet Hawaiian rolls

One night, my dad was watching The Food Network, and they were making Hawaiian sweet rolls. This sparked his request for me to make some for him. The first time we had ever tried these rolls was in Hawaii, on the Big Island, when we visited the Panulu’u Bake Shop. They are very famous for their hawaiian sweet rolls, and they were delicious, so light and fluffy with the perfect amount of sweetness. When my dad requested it, I decided to give them a shot!

What makes Hawaiian Sweet Bread different?

Hawaiian Sweet Bread is sweetened with pineapple juice rather that white sugar or honey, and it contains potato starch. Potato starch is the key ingredient to the best Hawaiian sweet bread! Potato starch and potato flour are very different. Potato starch is less flavorful and more like corn starch compared to potato flour which is made with whole potatoes. Without the potato starch, the bread is not smooth, moist, or flavorful. Just a small amount makes a huge difference in the final product. The starch helps absorb more water and creates more air pockets, so the bread ends up being more silky, moist, and airy.

This recipe is very standard and simple, you can do it! Treat this like any other yeast bread. Begin by activating the yeast in the warm water and pineapple juice mixture. You need to make sure the liquid is not too hot and not too cold for activation. I use a meat thermometer to ensure the liquid is 110-113 degrees F. Then, when you add the yeast, make sure you let this mixture sit and get foamy before adding it to the rest of your ingredients. If this mixture doesn’t get foamy, you know your yeast is no longer good.

While your yeast mixture is sitting, combine the dry ingredients and set aside. Then, in the bowl of the stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the butter, brown sugar, eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla. Add the frothy yeast mixture. Slowly add all of the dry ingredients into the bowl and whip with the paddle attachment for 3 to 4 minutes. Next, switch to a dough hook and knead until the dough passes the window pane test, about 5 minutes.

To do the window pane test, gently grab the edges of the dough and let gravity slowly pull it down. The dough will pass the test if you can see the light pass through the super thin dough, this means enough gluten has formed.

Once the dough passes this test, let the dough rise until doubled in size in a greased bowl, about 3 hours. Once doubled, punch down the dough and cut into 15 even pieces and shape into tight dough balls. Place them in a greased 9 x 13 pan and let rise until doubled again. Brush the top of the rolls with the egg wash and bake at 350 degrees until the center is 195-200 degrees F or until golden brown on top.

My dad and I sat on our deck on a nice, sunny day, eating the warm Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, pretending we were back in Hawaii. I hope you enjoy this summery recipe as much as we did! I would love to see your creations! Tag me on Instagram @beyondbakingwithamandajane with your Hawaiian Sweet Rolls!

Perfect Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

  • Rating: ★★★★★
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  • 1 1/4 Tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice, canned or fresh
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons potato starch
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk (save the whites)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. In a medium-size saucepan, warm the water and pineapple juice until 110 degrees F. Remove from heat and sprinkle the yeast over top and give it a little stir. Let sit until frothy.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, starch, and salt. Mix well and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, brown sugar, eggs, egg yolk (remember to save the egg), and vanilla. Add the frothy yeast mixture and mix well.
  4. While the mixer is on low, slowly add the dry ingredients. Once you pour in all the dry ingredients, beat on medium-high for 3 minutes.
  5. Switch to the dough hook and knead until the dough passes the windowpane test, about 5 minutes.
  6. Place dough in a greased bowl and let rise, covered, until double in size. This will take about 3 hours depending on how warm your kitchen is.
  7. Grease a 9 x 13 pan. When the dough is doubled in size, punch it down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 15 even pieces.
  8. Using your hands, make each piece of dough into a tight ball. Cup the dough ball with your hands and pull one hand down, rotating the dough ball. This will create a tight ball and tension on the surface of the dough. Then, place in the greased pan. Repeat this step for all 15 of the rolls.
  9. Cover the rolls and let rise until doubled in size.
  10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  11. Mix a tablespoon of water with the reserved egg white and brush this egg wash over the risen rolls.
  12. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the bread is 200 degrees F. The tops should be a nice golden brown.

Taste tested by friends and family with love.

Overnight No Need to Knead Crusty White Bread

New York Times easy and delicious crusty bread. Restaurant level crunch on the outside, pillow soft and chewy on the inside.

Last week, New Jersey was hit with tropical storm Isaias. Power went out across my town, targeting my house as I had my overnight crusty bread in the dutch oven! The power flickered on and off while it was baking, but I was hopeful that I would have power long enough to bake my bread. However, after 15-20 minutes of baking, big trees took out our power. I still had 45-50 minutes of baking left to do! I kept the oven closed and hoped that the bread would bake. Sure enough after 50 minutes of “baking,” I took the bread out, uncovered the dutch oven and steam came flowing out, it was done and beautiful, UNBELIEVEABLE!! It was perfect and crusty and the inside was moist and airy. I was so surprised and relieved that it was successful!

This is to say that this bread is VERY easy and forgiving. Even after the bread was baking in an oven that turned off a quarter of the way into baking, the final product was just as yummy. My grandma kept saying that it tastes like bread from fancy Italian restaurants. The crust is perfectly flaky and crunchy, and you don’t even have to use a steam oven or a tray of water at the bottom of the oven! The inside is very moist, soft and springy, almost doughy.

As I said before, this bread is extremely easy and quick to make. I got my recipe from The New York Times No-Knead Bread, but I added a few variations to my liking and to make the recipe easier.

Make the dough the night before you want to bake the bread. Mix together the flour, salt, sugar, and instant yeast until a shaggy dough forms. (Note: Do not convert the instant yeast to active dry yeast because the yeast flavor will be too strong with active dry). Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 12-18 hours. The longer you can let it sit, the better. Although the original recipe does not have sugar under the ingredients, I always love sweeter breads, so if you do too, add some sugar!

After 12-18 hours of the dough resting, the surface of the dough should have a lot of small bubbles. This is how you know when your dough is ready. At this point, turn out the dough on a floured surface. Using heavily floured hands, gently fold the dough over on itself 3-4 times. Cover and let the gluten rest for 15 minutes.

While the dough is resting, grease and flour a large mixing bowl. After the dough has rested, using heavily floured hands, again, gently and quickly shape into a rough ball. Coat your hands in enough flour to minimize the dough from sticking to your hands. Put this dough seam side down in the prepared mixing bowl. Cover with plastic until doubled in size, about 2-3 hours.

When the dough is almost doubled, preheat your oven with the dutch oven inside. Let the dutch oven sit in the preheated oven for another 15 minutes. Remove the dutch oven and pour the dough ball into the dutch oven, do any small adjustments to the shape of the dough, then cover the pot and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 15-30 minutes depending on how brown and crisp you like your bread. This last step without the lid is primarily to add some color and more crunch to your bread. To ensure the bread is cooked all the way, the internal temperature should read about 200 degrees F.

I hope you try out this deliciously easy bread, I would love to see pictures of your bread! Tag me on Instagram with your creations @beyondbakingwithamandajane

Overnight No Need to Knead Crusty White Bread

  • Servings: 1- 1.5 pound loaf
  • Rating: ★★★★★
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  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tsp granulated sugar


  1. Stir together the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar until a shaggy dough forms. Cover with plastic and let sit for 12-18 hours at room temperature.
  2. When the dough has a lot of bubbles on top, turn out on to floured surface. Fold dough over on itself 3-4 times using floured hands. Sprinkle thin layer of flour on top. Loosely cover and let sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Grease and flour large mixing bowl.
  4. With floured hands, shape dough into rough ball and place into prepared mixing bowl. Cover with plastic and let rise until doubled in size, about 2-3 hours.
  5. About 30 minutes before dough completely rises, preheat oven to 450 degrees F with the dutch oven inside. Let dutch oven sit in the preheated oven for at least 15 minutes.
  6. Once doubled, pour the dough ball into hot dutch oven. Make any small adjustments to the shape of the dough. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15-30 minutes, until desired color.

Taste tested by friends and family with love.

Brunching Banana Muffins

Flavor-packed, classic banana muffins, perfect for brunch

Banana bread has always been a staple in my house. Ever since I was young, my mom would never fail to have a tray of banana bread on the counter for after school snack. Sometimes she was even lucky enough to have me help her make them. I am proud to say that I have mastered making this bread on my own.

Over time, my mom and I started to make banana muffins rather than a loaf of banana bread, but the recipe is the same. Muffins are easier for transportation, eating, and sharing, and lining a cupcake tin is much easier than greasing and flouring a pan! In my opinion, even though the recipe is the same, for some reason, the muffins just taste better. However, you can bake this in a loaf or 8 x 8 inch square pan, just make sure you realize the baking time will be different.

You can also add chocolate chips or chopped nuts to the batter to spice it up a little! I prefer my muffins plain, but my brother likes the chocolate chip and my parents like the chopped nuts! I gotta cater to everyone!

Recently, we have been making these muffins a lot for our Sunday brunch, so we have started calling them our Brunching Banana Muffins. During quarantine, grocery shopping has become more of an expedition, so we have been getting more bananas. This has left us with so many overripe bananas that we don’t want to go to waste.

These muffins are SO easy to make, and it is a one-bowl banana bread recipe too! You begin with mashing over-ripened bananas and just stir in the rest of the ingredients! It’s just that simple.

My family and I like to eat these with our weekend brunch, but we also love to eat the leftovers for the next day’s breakfast or a snack. I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Brunching Banana Muffins

  • Servings: 12 muffins
  • Rating: ★★★★★
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  • 3 very ripe large bananas, 4 if they are small
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup melted butter, cooled
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 12 cupcake tins.
  2. Mash bananas very well.
  3. Add the sugar, vanilla, egg, flour, baking powder, and cooled melted butter. Mix until just combined.
  4. Optional: Fold in chopped pecans and/or chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop batter into cupcake tins until about 2/3 full. Optional: you can also sprinkle more pecans and/or chocolate chips on top. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. *Note: Bake in a loaf or 8 x 8 in. pan for 60-80 minutes.

Taste tested by friends and family with love.

Traditional Malva Pudding

Sweet and spongey South African apricot poke cake.

If you are like me, I had no clue what Malva Pudding was the first time I heard of it. I was first introduced to Malva Pudding at the restaurant, The Cafe, in Key West, Florida. The chef served us this dessert by mistake, and we fell in love with it! It is a dessert that is truly very unique in its texture and flavor. It is similar to a bread pudding or tres leches cake, but better. It isn’t too sweet, and it is absolute perfection with vanilla ice cream. Ever since that vacation, I have been testing and trying different recipes to create the perfect Malva Pudding. I have finally made a recipe that tastes just like The Cafe’s! I hope you like it!

Malva Pudding is a South African dessert with a hint of apricot flavor and a caramel-like, spongey texture. The base of the dessert is a vanilla apricot cake variation, called the pudding. Then, there is a sweet and creamy syrup that gets poured over and absorbed into the baked cake, similar to a poke cake. This cake is traditionally soaked overnight, but I can’t wait that long for dessert! Letting the cake sit for 10 minutes after pouring the liquid over top is just as yummy.

Malva Pudding is made to be served warm. However, most of the time when I make this pudding, I have to make the cake part earlier so the kitchen is free for others to make dinner itself. Beacause this cake is served warm, I like to bake the cake ahead of time without pouring the syrup on top yet. Then, about 30 minutes before it is dessert time, I make the syrup and pour the hot liquid over the cake. This hot liquid warms up the cake as it gets absorbed into the cake at the same time!

When making the cake, the process isn’t traditional. First, in the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the eggs and sugar until they are a very pale yellow color. While that is whipping, you place the butter and apricot jam in a small sauce pan over medium heat until the butter is just melted. The jam will not melt, but that is okay. Then, you add the vinegar and and the butter jam mixture to the whipped eggs and sugar.

Now, this is where the recipe really diverges from the typical cake making process. Pour half of the milk, half the dry ingredients, and and the vanilla into the bowl of the stand mixer, don’t mix yet. Then, pour the rest of the milk into the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix until a shaggy dough forms. A shaggy dough is lumpy yet cohesive dough ball with small pockets of flour. Add this shaggy dough to the stand mixer. Mix until combined. By mixing in the shaggy dough, a unique texture from the clumps of flour form when baking. This will give you a little bit of a chew in your cake which is what makes Malva Pudding so uniquely delicious.

After you bake the cake, the syrup is very straight forward. If you are making the cake ahead of time, 30 minutes before dessert time, place everything in a medium-large size sauce pan and let everything melt, or until the mixture is hot to the touch. If you are not making the cake ahead of time, make the syrup while the cake is baking and pour the hot liquid over top the cake right out of the oven. I suggest that you poke several holes through the cake with a fork so that the syrup absorbs into the cake more easily.

I would love to see your Malva Pudding creations, tag me on instagram @beyondbakingwithamandajane with your Malva Pudding!

Traditional Malva Pudding

Serves 6-8

Rating: 5 out of 5.

For the cake:


For the pudding:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons apricot jam
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 cup (150 grams) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup milk (I used almond milk)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the syrup:

  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and generously grease a 9 x 6 x 1 3/4 inch oven safe dish.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the sugar and eggs together until a pale yellow color and foamy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Melt the apricot jam and butter together until the butter is just melted, do not let this mixture get too hot or boil. Add the melted butter and the jam to the stand mixer along with the vinegar. Mix until well combined.
  4. In a medium bowl, stir the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Switch to a paddle attachment. Add half the dry ingredients and half the milk.
  6. Mix the remaining half milk and the remaining half of the dry ingredients until a shaggy dough forms. Add to the stand mixer with the vanilla extract until combined.
  7. Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. While the cake is baking, in a medium size sauce pan, place the cream, butter, sugar, water, and vanilla. When there is 10 minutes left on the cake timer, place the sauce pan over medium heat until the butter is melted and the ingredients are combined.
  9. When the cake is done, immediately, using a fork, poke several hole into the cake. Then, slowly pour the hot liquid all over the hot cake. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and enjoy!
Taste tested by friends and family with love.

Peanut Butter Lover’s Chocolate Cupcake

Soft and rich chocolate cake with a light, whipped peanut butter buttercream.

Welcome to my first recipe, I am so excited you are here! Cupcakes are one of my favorite desserts to make because there is so much room for creativity when decorating. The majority of the time, in my opinion, the way cupcakes are decorated either make or break the whole thing. Today, I decided to decorate half of my cupcakes with just mini chocolate chips and the other half with chocolate ganache and mini chocolate chips.

This chocolate cake recipe is my favorite. It is rich with chocolatey flavor, yet very light and moist at the same time. A key ingredient to make the cake rich in chocolate is adding strong, hot coffee. As someone who doesn’t like coffee, I have found that adding just a half cup of hot coffee and hot milk strengthens the chocolate flavor without making the overall cake have a coffee flavor. Using plant milk doesn’t have much of an effect on the cake, so if you are like me and my family and don’t have regular dairy milk, use what you have- almond milk, oat milk, or soy milk, all work just fine!

I was having trouble with my foil liners sticking to the bottom of my cupcake tin because of two reasons:

  • In the hot oven, the coloring on the outside of the liner had a tendency to stick
  • Small drips of batter got between the liner and the cupcake tin

To fix the first problem, put a small square of parchment paper at the bottom of each cupcake tin. This made it so much easier to remove from the tray. As for the second reason, since the batter is really thin, it is easy for the batter to drip, so I like to let the batter sit on the counter for about 5 minutes so it thickens up slightly, then I fill the cupcake liners. This will make it easier for you to scoop batter into each cupcake liner.

Don’t worry about the parchment squares being even, nobody but you is seeing it!

The frosting has a strong peanut butter flavor to pair with the chocolatey flavor of the cupcakes. It is important that the butter and the creamy peanut butter are whipped together before the confectioners sugar is added and after it is added. This will ensure that the frosting is lighter and more airy. Before the buttercream sets, feel free to decorate your cupcakes however you like! I used a 2D Wilton tip and mini chocolate chips! Comment below how you decided to decorate your cupcakes!

I’d love to see your cupcake creations! Tag me on Instagram with your pictures!

Peanut Butter Lover’s Chocolate Cupcake

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Rating: 5 out of 5.

For the cake:


  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk*
  • 1/2 cup flavorless oil (I used vegetable oil)
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup very hot coffee
  • 1/2 cup very hot milk*


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line 24 large cupcake tins with a paper liner.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until well combined.
  3. In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, 1 cup milk, oil, and vanilla.
  4. Make a small well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Gently mix until just combined. Don’t over mix.
  5. Mix together the hot coffee and hot milk. Slowly pour the hot liquid into the batter and stir until it is well combined. The batter will be very thin.
  6. Let the batter sit for 5-10 minutes, then fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full. Clean any excess batter around the pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs. Let cool to room temperature, then put the cupcakes in the refrigerator while making the frosting.

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 1/2- 3 cups of powered sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 Tablespoons milk*
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and peanut butter, then whip on medium-high speed for 1 minute.
  2. Slowly add the powdered sugar and 2 Tablespoon of milk. Mix until combined.
  3. Add another Tablespoon of milk (if needed) with the vanilla and salt, until the desired consistency. Whip for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Put the frosting in a large piping bag fitted with your desired tip, and decorate!
*Plant milk can also be used. I used almond milk.

Taste tested by family and friends with love