Salted Raspberry-Swirled Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

If there were a treat I could eat every day for a year, it would be these Salted Raspberry-Swirled Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars. They’re basically giant chocolate chip cookies, in bar form, with raspberry jam swirled into them and sprinkled with flaky salt right out of the oven. What more could you ask for?

Ingredients needed to make Salted Raspberry-Swirled Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

These cookie bars used ingredients commonly found in chocolate chip cookies, with a few fun swaps. First, I like to brown my butter and chill it slightly before adding to the dough, rather than using regular softened butter. The nutty flavor it adds in unlike anything else and it’s a simple step that doesn’t require too much extra time. I also use a combination of store-bought raspberry jam and fresh raspberries mashed together to create an easy raspberry swirl, which really takes they cookie bars over the top and makes them perfect for Valentine’s day with the pop of red! Here’s the list of everything you’ll need:

Tools used to make Salted Raspberry-Swirled Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

I love using my KitchenAid stand mixer to create these delicious bars, but this recipe can easily be done by hand or with a hand-mixer. It’s totally personal preference there. Since we’re using browned butter in its liquid state in place of regular softened butter, the need for “creaming” the butter and sugar together is less important, so mixing the dough by hand is completely fine.

You can make these bars in whatever size baking dish you like. For a thicker bar, as pictured, I used an 11x7in pan. Alternatively, you could use a 13x9in pan for thinner cookie bars that cook in less time. You’ll need the following kitchen equipment to make these bars:

  • Electric stand mixer, hand-mixer, or mixing bowl and wooden spoon
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • 11x7inch or 13x9inch baking dish
  • Small saucepan
  • Butter knife
  • Parchment paper

How to make Salted Raspberry-Swirled Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

The process for making these cookie bars starts by browning our butter. This takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes, plus chilling time, and adds so much flavor to these bars, so I’d recommend taking the time to do it rather than using regular old softened butter. While the butter browns, you can gather your remaining ingredients and combine the wet ones in one bowl and the dry ones in another bowl.

Once the browned butter gets a 10-15 minute chill in the freezer, we’ll add it the rest of our wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients and chocolate chunks, and press the dough into a parchment-lined baking dish.

You’ll make the raspberry swirl by combining raspberry preserves with a handful of fresh raspberries and mashing it together. Then, you’ll drop spoonfuls right over top of the cookie bar dough in the baking dish and swirl it around using a butter knife. Bake the bars, let cool slightly, then slice and enjoy!

I love packing these cookie bars up into cardboard cookie boxes and adding festive ribbon for a sweet Valentine’s treat. We dropped some off to friends and neighbors the other day, and it made for such a cute little mid-week surprise ahead of this weekend’s holiday. See below for how I packed them up!

Looking for more dessert recipes from The Ardent Cook?

Check out these yummy ideas!

Classic Spice Cookies with Vanilla Whiskey Frosting

Peanut Butter Beach Berry Cobbler

Chocolate Pistachio Rice Crispy Treats

Recipe Ingredients

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter 

¾ cup brown sugar, packed

¼ cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (or GF 1-1)

1 tsp baking soda

¾ tsp salt

1 ½ cups chocolate chunks

½ cup raspberry preserves

¼ cup fresh raspberries

Flaky sea salt, for serving

Recipes Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 9×13 inch baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. In a saucepan, brown the butter over medium-low heat. As the butter bubbles, push the foam out of the way with a spoon to monitor the browning solids. Remove from the heat once the butter turns golden-amber and transfer to a heat-safe bowl. Place in the freezer to chill for 15-20 minutes. 
  3. Once the butter has cooled, add to the bowl of a stand mixer and cream together with the brown sugar and granulated sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix again. 
  4. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate mixing bowl. With the mixer running on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet until fully incorporated. 
  5. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and fold in the chocolate chunks. Press dough into the baking dish in an even layer. 
  6. Combine raspberry preserves and fresh raspberries, using the back of a spoon to mash the fresh raspberries into the preserves. Once combined, spoon little dollops of preserves over the cookie dough in the baking dish, then swirl it into the dough as best as possible using a butter knife. 
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes (if using a large baking dish, decrease the bake time to 18-23 minutes) until the cookie bars are golden brown and the middle is beginning to set. Let cool for 3-5 minutes, then run a butter knife along the edge of the baking dish and lift the bars out of the dish onto a cutting board. Cut into bars and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Enjoy!

There may be affiliate links in this post! By purchasing a product I recommend, I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love and use myself. Thank you for your continued support of The Ardent Cook, it does not go unnoticed.

Classic Spice Cookies with Vanilla Whiskey Frosting

I love a good pie as much as the next person, but sometimes all I want after the big Thanksgiving meal is a small piece of something sweet. That’s why I’ve been team cookies-on-Thanksgiving for years, and this is one of my favorite recipes! It’s a classic, chewy spice cookie recipe that gets smothered in delicious vanilla whiskey frosting (you can leave the whiskey out if that’s not your jam). It has all the warm spices you think of on Thanksgiving without the commitment of a full slice of pie.

Ingredients needed to make Classic Spice Cookies with Vanilla Whiskey Frosting

These cookies have a lot of spices, which in my opinion are good investments for holiday season cooking and baking. You can use them to flavor both savory and sweet dishes, so it’s worth it. Here’s a full list of what you need:

Tools used to make Classic Spice Cookies with Vanilla Whiskey Frosting

It’s easiest to make these cookies using a stand mixer, such as a KitchenAid, but it’s not necessary if you don’t have one. In addition, you’ll need two rimmed baking sheets, mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, parchment paper, and a butter knife or icing spatula. For ease, you can also use a cookie scoop, but that is completely optional.

How to make Classic Spice Cookies with Vanilla Whiskey Frosting

If you’ve ever made cookies before, this process should be no surprise to you. It’s really simple. Start by creaming together your butter and sweeteners, followed by the eggs. Add the dry ingredients. Chill the dough. Bake. See where I’m going with this? While they bake you can make your frosting either in a regular old mixing bowl or in the stand mixer, up to you. Let cookies cool, lacquer that icing on, then enjoy by a fire with an after dinner drink. Got it? Good.

Looking for other un-pie Thanksgiving or holiday desserts?

Apple Bourbon Spoon Cake

Chocolate Pistachio Rice Crispy Treats

Recipe Ingredients

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened, divided (12 and 4)

1 cup sugar 

¼ cup molasses 

1 egg

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

1 tbsp baking soda

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger 

¾ tsp ground cloves 

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

A few turns black pepper

½ tsp salt 

3 ¾ cup powdered sugar 

1 tsp vanilla extract

1-2 tbsp milk

3 tbsp Irish whiskey

Recipe Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream together 12 tbsp of the butter, sugar, molasses, and egg until fluffy and lighter in color. 
  3. Switch the whisk attachment for the paddle, then slowly add the flour and spice mixture. Chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. While the dough chills, make the icing. Combine remaining butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, 1 tbsp milk, and whiskey in a mixing bowl. Whisk by hand, or use whisk attachment in the stand mixer, until the frosting is light and fluffy. If additional milk is needed, add accordingly. Store in the fridge until cookies have cooled completely. 
  5. Once chilled, shape dough into 1-inch balls, or scoop onto the baking sheets using a 1-inch cookie scoop, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until cookies have spread slightly and have firmed up. 
  6. Cool on a wire rack, then ice. Enjoy!

There may be affiliate links in this post! By purchasing a product I recommend, I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love and use myself. Thank you for your continued support of The Ardent Cook, it does not go unnoticed.

Apple Bourbon Spoon Cake

Here’s the deal: I call this a spoon cake. In reality, it’s not a spoon cake. It’s more like a crumbly, shortbready, delicious, hard-to-name object that comes out of your oven and tastes amazing. So I settled with spoon cake, because you have to spoon it out of the pan to eat it.

Juicy apples get cooked down with bourbon, sugar, fresh lemon juice, and spices (wait until you smell your kitchen), then layered over a shortbread-style crust with more shortbread crumbled over the top. Bake the whole thing and spoon it into your bowl while still warm… with a scoop of vanilla ice cream of course.

Ingredients needed to make Apple Bourbon Spoon Cake

To make Apple Bourbon Spoon Cake, you need the basic ingredients like flour, sugar, baking powder, etc. There’s nothing super abstract in this recipe, so hopefully you have it all readily available to you! Here’s the shopping list:

  • Apples (I prefer honey crisp, granny smith, or pink lady)
  • Bourbon
  • Fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • Butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Tapioca flour (or cornstarch)
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground ginger
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder

Tools used to make Apple Bourbon Spoon Cake

This is a great dessert to make when you don’t want to dirty a lot of dishes. I love my KitchenAid stand mixer, but boy is it annoying to clean. You don’t need to whip it out for this recipe, luckily! Here’s what you’ll need:

How to make Apple Bourbon Spoon Cake

This cake is quick and simple to make. You’ll begin by cooking down your apples in a skillet with the bourbon, lemon juice, sugar, tapioca, and spices. Don’t worry if you don’t have tapioca, because cornstarch works wonderfully as well! While the apples cook, you’ll make your crust in a mixing bowl. The key here is to create small pea-sized pieces of butter that are all coated in flour. When the dough bakes, the butter melts and the crust becomes cohesive. It may seem crumbly at first, but should stick together more-or-less when you squeeze it into a ball with your hands. If it doesn’t hold together (it’s ok if some pieces crumble down, but not all of them), you can add some cold water tablespoon at a time. Be careful not to add too much, or your dough will be too wet and goopy.

You’ll press half of the crust into the bottom of the pan and par-bake while your apples cooks. Once the first half is baked, you’ll spoon over your apples, which are fully cooked by the time the bottom crust is baked, over the top. I love when the timing of things cooking just works out, as in this recipe! To finish, crumble the remaining dough over top of the apples and bake again until golden brown. Spoon it into a bowl and top with vanilla ice cream. Yum!

Looking for other delicious desserts from The Ardent Cook?

Chocolate Pistachio Rice Crispy Treat

Salted Brown Butter Banana Cobbler

Peanut Butter Peach Berry Cobbler

Recipe Ingredients


3 cups apples, peeled and sliced ¼ thick

¼ bourbon

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

4 tbsp salted butter

⅓ cup granulated sugar

1 tsp tapioca flour (or cornstarch)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground ginger


1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (or GF flour blend)

½ cup granulated sugar

½ tsp baking powder

½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, chilled and cut into ½ inch cubes

1 egg

Recipe Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and parchment-line an 8×8 glass baking dish. 
  2. Make the crust. Combine flour, sugar, and baking powder. Add the butter and mix with the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or two forks until the butter is pea-sized and coated in flour. Stir in the egg. The dough will be very crumbly, but will hold together when pressed between your hands. If your dough is too dry and crumbly, you may add 1-2 tbsp of cool water to bring it together. Some flours are more absorbent than others, so go by feel- the dough should hold together more or less when squeezed into a ball, but should not be wet and goopy by any means. If it doesn’t hold together when some pressure is applied, then it’s too dry. 
  3. Divide the dough in half and press ½ of it into the bottom of the baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes. 
  4. Meanwhile, make the filling. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the apples, bourbon, lemon juice, and sugar, and stir to coat the apples. Sprinkle the cinnamon and tapioca evenly over the top, then mix to incorporate. 
  5. Bring the apples to a boil and let cook for 2-3 minutes at this heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, reduce the heat slightly and continue cooking for another 5-7 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the apples are soft. 
  6. Once the first bake is complete, spoon the apple filling over top in an even layer. Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the apples, then return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. 
  7. Let the cake cool slightly, about 5 minutes, to let everything set up. Then, spoon into bowls and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

There may be affiliate links in this post! By purchasing a product I recommend, I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love and use myself. Thank you for your continued support of The Ardent Cook, it does not go unnoticed.

Peanut Butter Peach Berry Cobbler

So I have a confession to make: I actually made this cobbler with nectarines because I’m allergic to peaches. But, if I could’ve used peaches, I would’ve. ‘Peach’ also sounds a lot better in the title. “Peanut Butter Nectarine Berry Cobbler” just doesn’t have the same ring.

I wanted to create a dessert that was reminiscent of a childhood PB& J and also felt like it took as much effort as throwing together a sandwich. So many desserts are just so complex, and this one is simple, which is why I love it.

Ingredients needed to make Peanut Butter Peach Berry Cobbler

This cobbler has two parts: the fruit mixture, and the peanut butter cookie crumble. To make the fruit mixture, you’ll need the following: peaches, strawberries, coconut sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and tapioca flour. You could also use cornstarch rather than tapioca, if you have it.

For the peanut butter cookie crumble, the list couldn’t be simpler. Literally three (main) ingredients, plus a few spices. It’s simply one egg, coconut sugar, and creamy natural peanut butter. I also add cinnamon and nutmeg for extra oomph, but they aren’t necessary if you don’t have them on hand.

Tools used to make Peanut Butter Peach Berry Cobbler

I used the following tools to make this cobbler:

How to make Peanut Butter Peach Berry Cobbler

The process to make Peanut Butter Peach Berry Cobbler is as simple as making a PB&J, which is the whole inspiration behind this dessert. Begin by chopping your peaches and strawberries, then mix with the coconut sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and tapioca flour. Transfer the fruit mixture to a baking dish and let it sit while you prepare your peanut butter cookie dough.

The cookie dough takes about 3 minutes, since you literally just dump everything in a bowl and mix. Combine one egg with coconut sugar, peanut butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix until well combined, then crumble it over the fruit mixture. Cover with foil, bake for a few minutes, uncover, and finish baking until the cookie topping is browned! It’s so easy and delicious!

One thing I love about this recipe is the versatility. You can really use any fruit, or combination of fruits, you like. It also works with both fresh and frozen fruit. I think this could transition well to Fall by using apples instead of the combination of berries and peaches. If you choose to go the apple route, I would recommend stirring in 2-3 tbsp of apple sauce to the filling to mimic the moisture you’d get from the berries and peaches, as apples are a bit more dry. If you keep everything else the same, the dish comes out with almost the exact consistency and moisture of the original! It’s wonderful.

Lastly, if you want to make this for someone with a nut allergy, I would substitute sunflower seed butter for the peanut butter. Everything else can stay the same. Enjoy!

Looking for other easy dessert recipes?

Try these other recipes from The Ardent Cook to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Chocolate Pistachio Rice Crispy Treats

Nectarine Upside-Down Cake

Salted Brown Butter Banana Cobbler

Sweet n’ Salty Bourbon Plums with Vanilla Ice Cream

Recipe Ingredients

For the Fruit Filling

2 cups chopped peaches, fresh or frozen

2 cups chopped strawberries, fresh or frozen

2 tsp coconut sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp tapioca flour (or cornstarch)

For the Peanut Butter Cookie Topping

1 egg

1 cup creamy peanut butter (natural)

¾ cup coconut sugar

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground nutmeg

Recipe Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large mixing bowl, combine chopped fruit, coconut sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and tapioca flour. Fold to combine, being careful not to break apart the fruit too much. Transfer fruit mixture to a baking dish and let rest while you prepare the cookie topping.
  2. In another mixing bowl, combine egg, peanut butter, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir until well combined, then crumble over the top of the fruit mixture in an even layer.
  3. Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until the cookie topping is browned and the fruit is bubbling.
  4. Let cool slightly, then serve warm with vanilla ice cream, if desired. Enjoy!

There may be affiliate links in this post! By purchasing a product I recommend, I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love and use myself. Thank you for your continued support of The Ardent Cook, it does not go unnoticed.

Gluten Free Olive Oil Zucchini Bread

Gluten Free Olive Oil Zucchini Bread is deliciously moist, packed with peak summer zucchini, and just a touch sweet. Given its lower sugar content, it leans more towards an any-time-of-day item, perfect for breakfast paired with yogurt and fruit or as a mid-day snack. Of course, if you do heat it up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert every night this week, I won’t judge.

Ingredients needed to make Gluten Free Olive Oil Zucchini Bread

Gluten Free Olive Oil Zucchini Bread is easy to make with just a few ingredients, listed here:

-1 small-medium zucchini

Coconut sugar

Extra Virgin olive oil

-Plain Greek yogurt

-2 eggs

Vanilla extract

-Gluten free flour blend, such as this one

-Baking soda

-Baking powder



-Butter, or more olive oil, for greasing

Tools used to make Gluten Free Olive Oil Zucchini Bread

The tools used to make Gluten Free Olive Oil Zucchini Bread are fairly minimal which makes this the perfect treat to whip up when you want something with little effort. You will need a cheese grater (such as this box grater, which I use multiple times per week for a whole slew of recipes) to grate your zucchini, a few mixing bowls, a 9-inch cake pan, parchment paper, a rubber scraper (like this), and a knife to slice up the goodness for serving. Other than that, just make sure you have a working oven!

How to make Gluten Free Olive Oil Zucchini Bread

This recipe is very straightforward, with the exception of one step. Grating your zucchini finely is crucial to achieve the correct texture of the bread. I recommend using the fine tines on a box grater, although you could try to do this in a food processor as well. The important thing to note is that you should not squeeze excess liquid from the zucchini, as we want that liquid to help keep the bread moist. Everything else is fairly easy. Just preheat your oven, mix the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry in another bowl, combine, and bake! Delicious and done in about 45 minutes start to finish.

Looking for similar Gluten Free Recipes?

Grain-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Cookie-Bread

Gluten-Free Strawberry & Pineapple Crumble Bars

Chocolate Pistachio Rice Crispy Treats

Recipe Ingredients

1 ½ cups finely grated zucchini (about one small zucchini)

¾ cup coconut sugar

⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt

2 eggs

1 ¼ tsp vanilla extract

1 ½ cups gluten-free flour blend (try to find a cup-for-cup blend)

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

Recipe Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9 inch cake pan with butter and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. Alternatively, you can use an 8 inch loaf pan, simply note the longer cooking time below.
  2. Grate zucchini on a box grater. Add to a large mixing bowl, along with the coconut sugar, olive oil, yogurt, eggs, and vanilla. 
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet using a rubber scraper. 
  4. Pour the batter in the cake pan and bake for approximately 25-28 minutes. If using a loaf pan, adjust cooking time to approximately 45-50 minutes. Bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. 
  5. Allow bread to cool slightly, then run a knife along the edges and flip the cake out onto a serving plate. Slice into wedges and serve.

There may be affiliate links in this post! By purchasing a product I recommend, I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love and use myself. Thank you for your continued support of The Ardent Cook, it does not go unnoticed.

Chocolate Pistachio Rice Crispy Treats

The start of the week always leaves me hankering for a sweet treat, so I usually try to come up with something fun for dessert that’s delicious yet still adult. One of my favorite childhood snacks were Rice Krispies Treats in the blue foil packages. They NEVER disappointed. As I’ve gotten older and become more picky about the food I eat and how it’s made, I’ve moved away from Kellogg’s and endeavored to create my own rice cereal treats.

Insert these Chocolate Pistachio Rice Crispy Treats. They’re made with better ingredients, like sprouted brown rice crisps and all-natural marshmallows. However, if you aren’t into that type of stuff and would rather use the original products in all their glory, you can rest assured that these still taste BOMB with the typical stuff. I wanted to amp these up even more, so I added pistachios and dark chocolate (one of my favorite combos). Topped with flaky sea salt, these babies are loaded with deliciousness and feel sophisticated to boot.

The only real “cooking” involved with these treats is melting the butter and marshmallows on the stovetop, and the chocolate in the microwave. Everything else is simply chilling time so the treats can set up. It’s perfect for a hot summer day when turning the oven on to bake is a no-go (I should know, as our AC is broken and won’t be fixed until Wednesday in the middle of a 90 degree week).

Give these crispy treats a try and let me know how much you love them by sharing your photos and tagging me @theardentcook on Instagram! Enjoy!


3 cups rice crisp cereal, such as One Degree Sprouted Brown Rice Crisps

1 10oz bag marshmallows, such as Dandies

6 tablespoons salted butter

¾ cup shelled roasted and salted pistachios, chopped, divided

3oz bittersweet chocolate chips (about ½ cup)

Flaky sea salt

Coconut oil, for greasing


  1. Line an 8×8 inch baking dish completely with foil (including sides) and grease with coconut oil.
  2. In a large, deep-sided pan, melt the butter. Add in the marshmallows and fold with a rubber spatula until melted and combined. 
  3. Remove from heat and add the rice cereal and ½ cup of the chopped pistachios, stirring gently until everything is combined. Press the mixture into the greased pan using a rubber spatula or greased hands.
  4. Chill in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, until the treats are set. While you wait, melt the chocolate. 
  5. Remove treats from the pan and discard foil. Drizzle with the melted chocolate and sprinkle with remaining chopped pistachios and flaky sea salt. Slice into squares and serve at room temperature. Enjoy!

Nectarine Upside-Down Cake

The pure joy I felt when I flipped this cake out of the pan is comparable to few things in life. It was magical. I mean, I did grease the pan like a crazy person, so I also wasn’t that surprised, but still. Magic.

This Nectarine Upside-Down Cake was inspired by the traditional pineapple variety. It’s made almost the same way, by layering fruit with a quick homemade caramel sauce and spreading a dense cake batter over the top. However, because nectarines are less sweet than pineapple, the final product is subtle and delicious. I don’t love overly sweet desserts, plus the muted sweetness really lets the in-season nectarines shine!

I believe I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m allergic to peaches. I found this out later in life (after I had already tasted the delicious fruit many times), which totally stinks. Luckily, I can get somewhat of a peach fix by eating nectarines, which don’t cause my throat to close! The point in mentioning this is that you can absolutely feel free to substitute peaches in this recipe. It would be so delicious, and I’d be jealous if you did.

A quick note on the cake batter- it will be dense and not as wet as you probably expect. That’s ok! Simply spread it over the fruit and caramel using a silicon spatula, very gently, so as not to disturb your beautiful fruit pattern.

I serve this cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and/or fresh whipped cream, but it’s also delicious as-is with a cup of tea. Whatever way you choose, make sure you share your photos and tag me @theardentcook on Instagram so I can see your cakes in all their glory!


½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, plus more for greasing

3-4 ripe nectarines

1 cup sugar, divided

¼ cup water

1 cup all-purpose flour

¾ tsp baking powder

½ tsp ground nutmeg

3 eggs

Whipped cream and vanilla ice cream, if desired, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9-inch cake pan with butter, and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. For good measure, grease the parchment too.
  2. Remove the pits from the nectarines and slice into ½ inch wedges. Arrange in a circular pattern on the bottom of the greased/lined cake pan.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine ½ cup of the sugar with the water. Bring to a rolling boil and let cook until it turns light brown, about 8-10 minutes. Stir occasionally. When the caramel is finished, immediately remove from heat and pour over the nectarines at the bottom of the cake pan. 
  4. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat remaining sugar and butter until fluffy and light in color. Add the eggs.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients, then add to the wet ingredients in the mixer. Pour batter over the peaches carefully, trying not to disturb the pattern. You may need to spread the batter using a rubber spatula.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool slightly, then run a knife along the edges and flip the cake out onto a plate or serving tray. 
  7. Serve cake at room temperature, with whipped cream if desired. Enjoy!

Salted Brown Butter Banana Cobbler

When you hear the word “cobbler,” you probably think of peach cobbler or berry cobbler. While those varieties are delicious, I wanted to try something off the beaten cobbler path and thus came to the conclusion that bananas and brown butter were going to happen.

This cobbler is adapted from a recipe in my Nana’s recipe box. Her handwritten recipe cards, while hard to decipher, always lead me to some of the best-tasting dishes ever. This cobbler is no different. Her recipe originally called for 2 cups of sugar, which literally made my eyes pop out of my face. I reduced the sugar significantly in my recipe, particularly because the bananas are naturally sweet on their own. To make it even better, I also combine cinnamon and cardamom, two spices that really make the bananas pop.

The batter is really simple, basically just milk and flour, and it gets poured directly into the baking dish along with 2 sticks of brown butter (sorry, but I’m not sorry). From there, you can really use any fruit you love, although I do recommend the bananas because they are SO good. If you decide to use something other than bananas, you may consider adding just a bit more sugar. Berries, stone fruit, cherries, etc. are less naturally sweet than the bananas are.

If you make this cobbler, be sure to bake it in your casserole dish with a cookie sheet underneath of it. The butter has a tendency to bubble over, which will wreak havoc on your oven.

Don’t forget to share your photos and tag me @theardentcook on Instagram! Enjoy!


3.5-4 bananas (about 1 ¼ pounds)

¾ cup sugar, divided

¾ tsp ground cinnamon

¾ tsp ground cardamom

2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter 

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder

2 cups whole milk 

1 tbsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. The butter will start to foam, then brown after about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. 
  3. While the butter browns, slice bananas about ¼ inch thick and add to a mixing bowl along with ¼ cup of the sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom. Fold to combine, being careful not to mush the bananas. 
  4. Pour the browned butter directly into a 9x13inch glass baking dish, or baking container of a similar volume.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and remaining ½ cup of sugar. Pour in the milk and vanilla extract and whisk the entire mixture. Pour milk mixture over the browned butter in the baking dish and gently swirl together using a butter knife. The butter and batter will not fully combine due to the fat in the butter, which is ok!
  6. Layer bananas into the baking dish on top of the batter and browned butter. Transfer to the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the cobbler is golden and bubbling at the edges. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

Sweet n’ Salty Bourbon Plums with Vanilla Ice Cream

Are you ever in the mood for pie at 9pm on a weeknight but have zero means to make or buy pie? ………No? Just me? The inspiration for this luscious summer dessert came to me just like that. I wanted a big piece of fruit pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and nothing else was going to cut it at that moment, except for this.

The recipe is as easy as, well, pie. I had a few ripe plums I had just picked up from the produce stand, some vanilla almond milk ice cream, and one of my favorite granolas, and this baby was born!

You start by sautéing halved plums in a little butter. When they start to break down and the juices are coating the bottom of the pan, toss in a tablespoon or two of bourbon and cook off the alcohol for a minute or so. Transfer those to a bowl, top with your favorite vanilla ice cream, and whatever granola you’ve got on hand. Finally, and arguably the most important step, is topping this dish with some flaky sea salt. It brings everything together in the best way.

I hope you give this simple summer recipe a try! It literally takes 5 minutes and can be adjusted based on what you’ve got on hand. If you make this recipe, be sure to share you photos and tag me @theardentcook on Instagram!


2 ripe plums, halved and pitted

1 tbsp butter

1-2 tbsp bourbon

2 scoops vanilla ice cream

Granola, for serving

Flaky sea salt


  1. In a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Sauté the plums face down until they begin to break down and juices are circling the bottom of the pan, about 4 minutes.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and add the bourbon. Return to the heat and cook for a minute or so until the alcohol has evaporated.
  3. Transfer the plums to two bowls. Top each bowl with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  4. For serving, top with granola and flaky sea salt. Enjoy!

Birthday Cake Cookies

Happy Memorial Day! I am completely exhausted after moving, but enjoying the nice weather. While I miss the gathering aspect that this holiday usually brings, I’m actually quite happy we can’t go anywhere because boy do I need a night to relax at home.

Because I’m too wiped to even think, I’m keeping this blog post short and getting right to the cookies. The only thing I need to say is regarding whole wheat flour: if you don’t have whole wheat, you may need to use slightly more all-purpose. Whole wheat flour is much more absorbent than AP, and swapping it out may leave you with a slightly soupy dough. The dough itself is stickier than most cookie doughs, but it should by no means be wet/unable to hold its shape. If it seems too wet, just sprinkle in more flour gradually!

And oh yeah, don’t skip the almond extract. It’s the key to making anything taste like birthday cake.

I hope you enjoy these delectable birthday cake cookies, and top them with extra icing! I could’ve made a homemade icing recipe for you, but let’s be honest…. store-bought cream-cheese frosting is where it’s at. Make these, eat these, make them again, and don’t forget to share your photos and tag me @theardentcook on Instagram!

6 tbsp salted room temp butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg

½ cup sour cream

1.5 cups whole wheat flour

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

1 tsp almond extract

1 tsp vanilla extract 

¼ cup rainbow sprinkles, plus more for topping, if desired

Cream cheese frosting, for topping, if desired

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine sugar, butter, vanilla, and almond extract and cream until fluffy, about 2 minutes. 
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda. 
  4. Add eggs and sour cream to the wet mixture and mix until just combined. Gradually pour in dry ingredients until the dough forms. Dough will be wetter and stickier than most cookie doughs- that’s perfect! 
  5. Using a 1-inch cookie scoop or two spoons working together, scoop dough in balls onto two parchment-lined cookie sheets. 
  6. Bake for 7-9 minutes until the cookies have puffed up and the edges are just barely golden brown. Allow to cool completely before moving to a plate or container.
  7. Store on the counter for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to a week. These cookies (and the dough) also freeze extremely well! For extra deliciousness, top these with cake frosting and extra sprinkles!