A Purple Picnic in the Park

Purple Picnic Treats

I had the pleasure of creating some delicious treats for the cutest little two-year old girl I know! Purple is her favorite color so that became the theme of this party in the park. A lot of love always goes into my treats, however, these were extra special because I nanny for her and her baby sister part time and their mom is a good friend, so they're very near and dear to my heart.

Birthday Cake
Mini Rose Cupcakes
Purple Sprinkle Cookies

My friend wanted mini cupcakes with minimal frosting for the kids, sparkly purple cookies and a small chocolate cake since that was the flavor she wanted for herself - my kind of woman! Normally this recipe would have a chocolate ganache cascading down the sides, but purple ombre was more on theme so I went with that, and topped it with a banner I made for the birthday girl. I rarely get to experiment with so much color and whimsy so this was definitely one of my favorite orders.

If you were to have a color-themed party for your next birthday, what color would it be?!


With a full heart and an empty plate,


Honey-Almond Angel Food Cake w. Raspberry Sauce

My sister-in-law-to-be requested that I make Crack Pie as my contribution for her bridal shower; it turned out great and I was so excited to be using my Milk Bar cookbook that my husband gave to me! The only downside, however, was that the recipe called for eight egg yolks....but no whites. I decided to make another first-time recipe to use them up. I have always loved angel food cake, but knew it to be a time consuming feat and easiest just picked up at the store. This recipe was fairly easy to carry out, but it definitely took a minute and I cannot lie, in an everyday occasion, I would probably still just buy it at the bakery! Don't get me wrong, it was so worth it, and I can't wait to make it again for a dinner party or special event; it just requires a little planning ahead.

Honey-Almond Angel Food Cake // Serves 8-10

1 ¼ c cake/pastry flour, sifted twice

1 c sugar

1 ½ c egg whites at room temperature (mine took 11 large egg whites)

1 tsp cream of tartar

½ tsp kosher salt

1 T fresh lemon juice

¼ c honey (wild local honey if you can get it!)

1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp pure almond extract

Place rack in center of oven and set to 350 degrees. Ensure you have a two-piece tube pan at the ready, but DO NOT grease it! Take the twice-sifted flour and sift it again with ½ cup of the sugar and set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until just foamy and white(sometimes the whisk does not reach the bottom very well so check to be sure there are no un-frothed whites hanging out down there). Add in the cream of tartar, salt, and lemon juice. Continue to beat until soft peaks form; gradually pour the honey in a thin stream over the whites while running the mixer. Tablespoon by tablespoon, gradually beat in the remaining sugar until stiff, glossy peaks form. Scrape down sides of bowl, add extracts and beat to incorporate. Remove bowl from mixer and scrape any whites from the whisk and add to bowl.

Soft peaks...                                                          Stiff peaks...                                                           Ready!

Soft peaks...                                                          Stiff peaks...                                                           Ready!

Sift about one quarter of the flour mixture over the whites, and gently fold it in using a rubber spatula; repeat with remaining mixture, a quarter at a time, until it’s all incorporated. Be sure to use a light hand so as not to deflate all the whipping you just did. Pour the batter into the tube pan, then run a knife through it in a figure eight type motion to get out any air pockets that would create holes in your beautiful masterpiece. Place cake in preheated oven and bake 35-40 minutes, depending on your oven (while baking, flip over a stable flat-bottomed glass or jar on your counter for the cooling process). A cake tester inserted near the center should come out clean, and the cake should spring back when pressed gently. The top will be a golden brown with some cracks in it; remove immediately and invert onto the jar you set up earlier (see below). Allow to cool completely, 1 ½ - 2 hours, leaving upside down the entire time. This cooling process keeps the cake light!

Cooling Angel Food Cake

To remove from the pan, slide a thin, metal, flat spatula or long knife around the outside and inside edges, keeping as close to the pan as possible for the least amount of damage to the cake. Invert onto cake plate and decorate with fresh berries, or simply slice and plate and serve with fresh raspberry sauce. On day two, I put a slice on the indoor grill and it made beautiful, caramelized lines and added a little crispness - it was a delicious twist!

Raspberry Sauce // Makes appx. 1 cup

2 pints fresh raspberries, picked over

1-2 T powdered sugar

Lemon juice

Press raspberries through a fine-mesh sieve, catching the delicious puree into a bowl while keeping the seeds out. Stir powdered sugar and lemon juice in to taste. 

Angel Food Cake

This combination was a perfectly light summer treat, but I think my next version might be with chocolate whipped cream and sliced almonds as my mom said that was my late Auntie Candie's favorite way to eat it and my goodness does that sound just divine! Mom said to slice about an inch of the top off, creating a big ‘O’, and set aside. Carefully carve out a well in the base of the cake and fill with the chocolate whipped cream and sprinkle with almonds. Place the top back on, then frost the whole thing with more whipped cream and garnish with toasted, sliced almonds! Chocolate and almond is one of my all-time favorite combinations so I cannot wait to give this a go. I never tire of hearing stories of family favorites and recipes, it’s the inspiration that keeps me in the kitchen - never underestimate the power of a good meal shared with loved ones!

With a full heart and an empty plate,