Decadent Chocolate Bundt Cake

I made this cake for my friend’s birthday as she requested a chocolate cake for our potluck (of course, that was pre-COVID-19).

This is super easy to prepare, totally delicious, can be frosted or left as is, dusted with powdered sugar or coated in a chocolate or vanilla glaze.

I drizzled it with chocolate ganache and sprinkled with a lot of sprinkles, to reflect my friend Mae’s fun, playful, childish personality.


For the cake

  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup espresso or strong coffee
  • ¼ cup cream or whole milk

For the ganache

  • 3 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream


1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Generously spray a 10 cup bundt pan with nonstick spray which also contains flour. Set aside.

2. In a bowl, beat sugar and eggs using a hand mixer, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

3. Add oil, vanilla, and sour cream. Blend well.

4. In a bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

5. In another bowl, mix together espresso and milk.

6. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, blend well. Add half of the liquid ingredients next, then blend well. Continue adding dry and wet ingredients alternately, blending well before adding the next.

7. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for around 35 to 40 minutes. Test by piercing with a skewer, it should come out clean.

8. Let cake cool on a wire rack for a few minutes. Invert cake onto a serving dish and cool completely.

9. For the Ganache: melt the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl using 30 second increments until shiny and soft. Stir until smooth. Add cream and stir until combined. Pour over cooled cake. Sprinkle with desired topping.

10. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Chip Sables

Chocolate chip cookies are the best kind of cookies in the world for me. It’s quick and easy to make, the ingredients are pantry staples, and it tastes great!

Having said that, I am up for testing any variation of this classic. I recently came across an instagram post about Chocolate Chip Sables, which then kept me up all night, searching for the recipe so that I could try it too. It is basically a shortbread cookie + chocolate chip cookie, combined in the most delightful, decadent way.

These are all you need for this recipe!
  • 255 grams total salted butter (2¼ sticks),cold, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ½ cup(100 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup(55 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups(325 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 6 ounces(170 grams) semi-sweet or bittersweet dark chocolate chips
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Demerara or Turbinado sugar, for rolling
  • Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a hand held mixer, (I used the Thermomix) beat the butter, both sugars and vanilla on medium-high till it’s light and fluffy (3 to 5 minutes for a stand mixer; 6 to 8 for a hand mixer). Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and, with the mixer on low, slowly add the flour, then add the chocolate chunks, and mix just to blend. If necessary, knead the dough with your hands to make sure the flour is completely incorporated. At this point, the dough should be smooth and feel like Play-Doh.
  • Divide the dough in half, placing each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. Fold the plastic over so that it covers the dough to protect your hands from getting sticky. Using your hands, form the dough into a log shape; rolling it on the counter will help you smooth it out, but don’t worry about getting it perfect. Each half should form a 8 inch log, 2 inches in diameter. Chill until firm, about 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the outside of the logs with the beaten egg and roll them in the demerara sugar, to make the edges extra delicious.
  • Using a serrated knife, carefully slice each log into ½-inch-thick rounds (if you hit a chocolate chunk, slowly saw back and forth through the chocolate). If the cookies break or fall apart, just press them back together — the dough is very forgiving. Place them on the prepared baking sheets about 1 inch apart (they won’t spread much). Sprinkle with flaky salt.
  • Bake until the edges are just beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before eating them all.

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DoubleTree Signature Cookie Recipe

It did turn out really good! Soft yet crisp on the edges!

Have you ever stayed at a DoubleTree hotel? If you did I’m sure you’ll remember the warm chocolate chip cookies that welcomed you upon arrival! It was truly something to look forward to!

There are a lot of copy cat recipes online but this recipe was officially released April 9, 2020. See this link for the full article.

I love chocolate chip cookies and would try any recipe I could get my hands on. I did try a couple of copy cat recipes for this particular cookie so now that I have the real recipe, I just had to whip out the ingredients (which I luckily do have on hand despite avoiding grocery store runs lately!) and try it. I’ll let you know how it tastes at the end of this article.

Makes 26 cookies

½ pound butter, softened (2 sticks)

¾ cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 ¼ cups flour

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Pinch cinnamon

2 2/3 cups Nestle Tollhouse semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 3/4 cups chopped walnuts 

1. Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes.

2. Add eggs, vanilla and lemon juice, blending with mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, then medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy, scraping down bowl.

3. With mixer on low speed, add flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, blending for about 45 seconds. Don’t overmix.

4. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.

5. Portion dough with a scoop (about 3 tablespoons) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper about 2 inches apart.

6. Preheat oven to 300°F. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and center is still soft.

7. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for about 1 hour.

Cook’s note: You can freeze the unbaked cookies, and there’s no need to thaw. Preheat oven to 300°F and place frozen cookies on parchment paper-lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake until edges are golden brown and center is still soft.

These cookies baked for longer than the 10-12 minutes I am used to baking cookies and came out of the oven after 23 minutes paler than most cookies I bake. After waiting for it to cool on the cookie sheet, I carefully took one and tasted it. It did brown up a little bit more than when I first took it out of the oven and flattened some. It was surprisingly crisp on the edges but soft overall. Full of chocolate chips and nuts, it’s really a delicious cookie!

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Electric Lunchbox #65: Yellow Cake and Chocolate Cake Boxed Mixes

I got a few people asking me to make cakes using boxed cake mixes. I thought most people would like to make their cakes from scratch as I, for one, do not like opened boxes of half used mixes lying around the pantry. If you’ve seen my pantry, you’ll know why! 😉

I guess I was wrong about that and convenience still has a place. I like to use boxed mixes when I need a consistent taste/texture, but I make most of my recipes from scratch.

So, here it is. I tested two of the most popular flavors: Yellow Cake Mix and Chocolate Cake mix. Both of the mixes I got were 15.25 oz boxes. I got them from Target, so I am hoping this brand is widely available, so that anyone wanting to try this can easily find it.

I was able to make a standard recipe whether you want to use the Yellow Cake or the Chocolate cake so I think it is safe to say that it is going to work with Red Velvet and White cake mixes too. I will update this post (or make another article) if I get my hands on those mixes.

This is so easy to make and aside from the cake mix itself, I’m sure you’ll have the rest of the ingredients on hand.

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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1 cup + 2 tablespoons cake mix

1/3 cup water

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 large egg

2 – 3 ELB cups water in base

1. Grease the medium or small ELB bowl. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl, mix together cake mix, water, canola oil, and oil. Blend well and mix until smooth.

3. Pour into the prepared ELB bowl. Cover with foil and place on ELB base.

4. Add 2 ELB cups water to the base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 40 minutes.

Made the chocolate cake in the medium ELB bowl.
Yellow cake got the big ELB bowl

5. Carefully open the ELB, and remove the bowl to a wire rack. Check cake for doneness by piercing with a toothpick, it should come out clean. Add 1 ELB cup of water to the base and steam until done if needed.

6. Cool cake for a few minutes then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

7. Frost if desired. Enjoy!

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Banana Bread

I almost always have a couple of bananas that turn brown before we get to eat it. I usually just toss them in the Vitamix or Thermomix to make a smoothie. Or peel and toss them in a baggie in the freezer for later. But every so often I save some bananas on the side to allow them to really get ripe and spotty.

Those bananas end up as this banana bread that is so good I often wonder why I don’t make it more often. The extra ripe bananas make it so fragrant and flavorful. The brown sugar gives it a hint of caramel flavor, while the chocolate chips adds a lot of extra flavor. Feel free to use nuts instead, but I urge you to try it with chocolate chips at least once. 😉

I like to make this in pretty bundt pans, like the one pictured above, so it is ready to serve without any decorating as it’s already beautiful. A light dusting of confectioners sugar is enough if you want to dress it up. I have this bad habit of picking up pretty baking pans so often I still have some that haven’t been used. Need to bake more often! Feel free to use a 13”x9” pan or even muffin tins if you want to! I promise that it will still taste good!

If you have a Thermomix, this comes together in about 3 minutes. If not, a little elbow grease and maybe 10-15 minutes, is all you’ll need. It’s an easy recipe that kids can make with adult supervision when baking. Enjoy!

1 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup milk + 1 teaspoon vinegar, mix and set aside 5 minutes

2 – 3 bananas, mashed (1 cup)

1/2 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips or walnuts

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease and flour a 10 cup bundt pan. (13”x9” pan or muffin cups will work too! Just adjust time.)

In a bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, beat eggs with brown sugar, milk and vinegar mixture, mashed bananas, oil, and vanilla.

Stir in flour mixture and mix until just combined . Fold in chocolate chips (or nuts).

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about an hour, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. (13”x9” takes about 30-45 minutes, cupcakes about 18-25 minutes.)

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Electric Lunchbox #28: Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake! Once called Waldorf Astoria cake, this cake had a resurgence a few years ago and for a good reason – it’s flavorful and beautiful at the same time!

I love the contrast of the deep red, chocolate flavored cake and the white cream cheese frosting that usually envelopes it. Perfect match!

So….I figured it’ll be fun to make it in the Electric Lunchbox so that I can have it anytime without heating up the oven. It’s been really hot lately here in Southern California, that I actually bought a turkey roaster to bake my bread outside. But that is for another story! Back to my Red Velvet Cake – since it’s such a small, cute cake, it will be just enough for the three of us, with no left overs calling my name at midnight. Which is one of the many reasons I love making desserts in the electric lunchbox! I hope you’ll like this recipe!

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*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny Itaki cup, unless specified.*

1/4 cup canola oil

1 egg

1 tablespoon red food color

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon vinegar

1/2 cup flour

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar


1/2 bar of cream cheese (4 oz)

1/4 cup softened butter

1/2 cup powdered sugar

A drop of vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Spray the big electric lunchbox bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

2. In a bowl, mix together oil, egg, red food color, vanilla, buttermilk, and vinegar. Beat until well mixed.

3. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt over the mixture. Add the sugar and mix just until combined.

4. Pour into the prepared bowl, cover with foil and set on the electric lunchbox base.

5. Add 3 Itaki cups water to the base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 55 minutes.

6. Carefully open the lunchbox, test the cake by inserting a skewer in the middle. A few moist crumbs on the skewer is okay.

7. Place the bowl on a wire rack to cool completely. Invert cake into a serving dish.

7. For the frosting: combine all ingredients in a small bowl and beat until thick and fluffy. Spread on the cooled cake. Top with sprinkles and serve.

Electric Lunchbox #24: Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

I have been craving a lot of desserts lately and kept testing them out in the Itaki. I think I am not the only one that can devour a dessert meant for several people all by myself. This is where the Itaki comes in handy. Portion Control! Or so I’d like to think, as the desserts I make tend to be enough for 2-3 servings but I still am likely to eat it all, specially the not-too-bad failures during the recipe development and testing phase.

So Itaki bread pudding was made! I added chocolate chips because I had some, but you could add anything you like to have in a bread pudding. Or even omit it completely for a plain version. I added instructions for a cinnamon raisin one below.

Although I miss the golden brown, crispy edges of the baked version, I think this is a pretty good substitute for when you just want a small serving of bread pudding quick and without heating up the oven. I might try using my torch if i have left overs next time.

Serve warm, or cold, as is, or garnished with whipped cream, or go all out and add a scoop of ice cream. Whatever makes you happy! I know I am surely going to be in a good mood after I have my dessert! 😊

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny Itaki cup*

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon melted butter

100 grams (3-4 slices) bread, cut into 1 inch cubes or smaller

1/3 cup chocolate chips

3 Itaki cups water for the base, about 50 minutes

Beat egg in the bottom Itaki bowl (or the medium Itaki Jumbo bowl if you are cooking a full meal). Add milk, sugar, vanilla, salt, and butter. Mix well.

Add the bread and stir until all cubes are coated with the milk mixture. Let it absorb for a few minutes. Add chocolate chips and stir again. There should be just a little liquid left in the bottom of the bowl.

Cover with foil and place in the base. Add 3 cups water to the base. Cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 50 minutes.

Carefully remove from the lunchbox and let cool. You can serve this warm or cold.


Cinnamon Raisin: replace the chocolate chips with raisins. Add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon with the sugar.

Peanut Butter Jelly: replace chocolate chips with peanut butter chips. Serve with a side or drizzle of grape jelly.

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Electric Lunchbox #18: Chocolate Cake Number 2

Here is another chocolate cake recipe for the Itaki! I don’t think I ever saw, made, or ate this many chocolate cakes in a week! However, my son doesn’t mind me developing and testing recipes, specially cakes! 😊

The story to this is that someone asked for a regular chocolate cake recipe when I posted the Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake on a Facebook group ( So I went to the kitchen and made a couple of recipes but I really had a difficult time developing a recipe with eggs, 1/2 a beaten egg? Egg yolk only? The results were different than when you make a full sized cake.

So I dropped the egg from the recipe, did a few more experimenting…and I’m happy to say that I can finally share this recipe with you as it tastes really good, it’s easy to make, and you don’t have to deal with little bits of left over ingredients. I hope you’ll like it as much as we did!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny Itaki cup*


1/4 cup buttermilk
(or 1/4 cup milk mixed with 1/4 teaspoon vinegar)

1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter, or oil

2 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt


2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 teaspoons cocoa powder

pinch of salt

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon milk

A drop of vanilla extract

Sprinkles, to decorate


Spray the medium sized Itaki Jumbo bowl (or the big Itaki pro bowl) with nonstick spray. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together buttermilk, melted butter or oil, sugar, and vanilla. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt over the wet ingredients. Stir to blend. Do not over mix. Pour batter into the prepared Itaki bowl, cover with foil and set on the base. Place 3 Itaki cups of water in the base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 50 minutes.

Carefully remove the bowl from the base. Let cool on a wire rack. Run a knife on the edges to release the cake.

In a small bowl, cream the butter with cocoa powder and salt. Blend well until cocoa powder is incorporated.
Add the powdered sugar and mix well until thick.
Add the milk and vanilla and beat the frosting until it is light and fluffy.
Spread the frosting on top of the cooled cake and finish off with sprinkles.

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