Category Archives: Dessert

Sweet Treats: Banana Date Milkshake

Don’t be alarmed. This isn’t a milkshake in the traditional sense. I haven’t abandoned a healthy lifestyle and regressed back to those childhood memories of fast-food drive-thru windows and hot pink creamy who-knows-what-is-actually-in-this “milkshakes.” (Ah, those were the days.) This “milkshake” is however,  the perfect creamy sweet treat to get you through that late afternoon energy slump or plain old sugar craving. But considering it has no ice cream or added sugar, you don’t need an excuse to make it anyway. And I suggest you do as soon as possible.

Enjoy!

Heather

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Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Gluten-free, Heather Platt, Vegetarian

Sweet Cinco de Mayo: Banana Tres Leches Cake with Strawberries


I love Mexican food. And before moving to Los Angeles, I never would have imagined that tacos, quesadillas, and burritos would become staples in my diet.  It’s impossible to avoid (nor would I want to) the delicious bounty of taco trucks, cheap Mexican restaurants, and beautiful ripe avocados. Not to mention my boyfriend’s obsession with quesadillas and expert ability to make them. So in honor of Cinco de Mayo, I wanted to make something that I don’t get to have very often. I decided on the delicious Mexican dessert that I had never had before moving here, Tres Leches Cake. I made this version with bananas and topped it with strawberries. This is by far the sweetest Cinco de Mayo I’ve ever had.

Enjoy!

Heather

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Filed under Cake, Dessert, Heather Platt, In Season, Spring

Easy Desserts: Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

I have mentioned before that I don’t consider myself a dessert maker. That is not to say that I don’t love to eat it or consider it a very important part of a meal. These chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches are ideal because you can make them in advance and keep them in the freezer for instant gratification dessert treats. My earliest memories of being in the kitchen as a  kid involve  making chocolate chip cooking dough and sneaking the chocolate morsels we needed for the cookies into my mouth when my mom wasn’t looking. The only thing better than homemade chocolate chip cookies are homemade chocolate chip cookies with ice cream squeezed between them.

Enjoy!

Heather

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Strawberry Season: Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

I’m happy that strawberries are in season again. In fact, when I overheard my pastry-chef friend talking about how good they are at the farmer’s market right now, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief and joy. Why such an emotional reaction to such a small red fruit? I wondered this myself. And then I remembered something. When I first moved to LA three years ago, it was strawberry season. That was not the easiest time in my life…okay I was downright miserable.  But every Sunday morning I would get up, treat myself to a cappuccino and go to my neighborhood farmer’s market where vendors would smile and encourage me to sample their farm fresh berries.  They were the sweetest strawberries I had ever tasted. I would always buy three baskets and walk around with my coffee in one hand, eating strawberries with my other as I shopped. This ritual made me grow to love Los Angeles and realize it’s actually not such a bad place to live. I’m still living here three years later and still buying more strawberries than I can eat. This time with my baskets, I made strawberry shortcake cupcakes. I was on dessert duty for a dinner party and my inability to decide between making strawberry shortcake or strawberry cupcakes resulted in these fruity little treats.

Enjoy!

Heather

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Filed under Cake, Dessert, Heather Platt, In Season, Spring

Hot Date: Warm Date Cake with Toffee Sauce and Whipped Cream

This month marks my three year anniversary of living in Los Angeles. Or in other words, it’s been three years since I left New York.  My heart fills with nostalgia when I think about it. But when I ask myself what exactly it is that I miss the most, I know it’s the friends who still live there and the food. My friend Claire was one of those friends  who tried everything to stop me from leaving.  “LA? You know you’ll have to drive there, right?” With a look of utter disdain and serious concern for my safety. Claire is a neurologist with a resume so impressive that I often wondered why a doctor like her had anything to do with me considering my most outstanding memories of New York involve  cocktails, high heels, and eating food I couldn’t afford.  But for some reason, she always had time for a mimosa-fueled trip to Bloomingdale’s or a late night beer and burger on Avenue C.  Now, her attempts to stop me have turned into graceful attempts to woo me back.  She has always known the best places to eat (and drink for that matter). Whenever I go back to New York these days, she shows me where to eat. And that means going to Moto in South Williamsburg for the herbed ribs and  famous date cake.  That date cake is enough to make even the happiest of Angelenos move back to New York. This date cake was my attempt to recreate it. It turned out SO good that I don’t have to move back after all.

Enjoy!

Heather

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Filed under Cake, Dessert, Heather Platt

Sweet Valentine’s: I Love You Carrot Cupcakes

Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than a carrot cupcake.  So when three of the loves-of-my-life, my high school best friends, Lauren, Meagan and Kyla, were on their way to Los Angeles to visit me for the weekend, I decided to make a batch of cupcakes to express my adoration for them.

I love carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. And so for many years I was known to bake a carrot layer cake at my parents house to fill my time during vacations at home. I developed a reputation for this. And now every time I go home my 90-year-old grandma Nana asks my parents if I’m going to be making a carrot cake this visit.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I frosted some in the shape of a heart. For the rest, I spread liberal amounts of the maple cream cheese frosting and decorated them with chopped walnuts and finely shredded carrots. These toppings worked out nicely as decorative food coloring alternatives.

Enjoy!

Heather

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Filed under Cake, Dessert, Heather Platt, Vegetarian

Happy Birthday, Ben! Chocolate Layer Cake

I think of myself as more of a cook than a baker. This is probably a good thing for a few reasons. Number one being, it seems  more practical to make dinner every night than to be baking dozens of snickerdoodles every day. Also, I simply can’t handle cooking dinner and making dessert. It overwhelms me. It has to be one or the other so I usually choose dinner. And finally, I would probably be 500 pounds if I baked as much as I cook. That having been said, as my sweet boyfriend’s birthday approached I was very excited for the excuse to whip up something sugary and buttery. I asked him ten times what his favorite kind of cake is and he said chocolate each time. (I think I get repetitive when I’m excited.)

I remember this one time when I was teenager in my parents kitchen. I had just cooked something and thinking I was alone in the house said out loud to myself as I tasted it, “This is delicious, if I do say so myself.” And my dad yelled down from upstairs. “It’s okay to say so yourself!” Well, I have to say that despite my lack of experience as a pastry chef, this is the most moist delicious cake I’ve ever tasted. And there’s no better way to say Happy Birthday than with a gooey, creamy and delicious homemade chocolate layer cake, if I do say so myself.

Happy Birthday, Ben!

Chocolate Layer Cake

Serves 8-10

For cake:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (1 tablespoon for greasing pans, 7 tablespoons melted)
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups fine baking sugar
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

For frosting:

  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 350F. Using 1 tablespoon of butter, grease 2 (8-inch) round cake pans.

In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix together with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. In a separate, smaller bowl, combine the milk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the brewed coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pans and bake for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for a few minutes until cool enough to handle then turn them upside to remove onto a rack to cool completely. If the cake is sticking in the pan, gently tap the sides and bottom of pan to loosen the cake.

While cake is baking and cooling, MAKE FROSTING.

In a large bowl, mix together with an electric mixer confectioners sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and milk. If frosting seems too thick, add more more milk. Reserve 1/2 cup of white frosting for decorating. Add cocoa powder and continue mixing with the electric mixer until frosting is smooth and creamy.

When cake is done cooling, place one layer bottom side (flat side) up on a flat plate. Using a spatula, place a heaping dollop of frosting on top of first layer. This will be the middle layer of frosting so be sure to put enough in. Carefully place the second layer of cake on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting on top and sides of the cake.

frosting the cake

Fill an empty plastic ketchup container with reserved white frosting and decorate as desired!

Enjoy!

Heather

The best part! Decorating!

Proud baker

Happy Birthday Boy

Yum!

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Filed under Cake, Dessert, Heather Platt, Super Bowl, Uncategorized