Lemon & Thyme Pound Cake | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Lemon & Thyme Pound Cake

This Lemon & Thyme Pound Cake is simple and sophisticated. It’s lightly flavored, moist, and light. You’ll fall in love with this dreamy cake. I know I did.

Lemon & Thyme Pound Cake | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

It’s Valentine’s Day, and I hope it’s filled with hearts and flowers. If nobody’s buying you chocolates, then go get them for yourself. Chocolates that you don’t have to share are the best kind of chocolates. I’ve actually been known to ration chocolates at my house. My husband thinks it’s okay to eat them all in two days instead of making them last. He’s insane. He’s also the love of my life.

I’ve been looking forward to my cheeseburger and milkshake all week, so I can’t wait to share an incredible date night with that crazy man. I am so immensely lucky to have someone in my life who totally gets me. If I had met him in my 20’s, I probably wouldn’t have spent so much time hating myself. He makes me a better person. He deserves all the cake.

Lemon & Thyme Pound Cake | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Since I shared all the chocolate with you in my last post, I’m going for something a little more subtle here. I have absolutely no objection to an over the top chocolate dessert, but sometimes quiet sophistication is the way to go. I mean, if you have to keep telling people you’re a very stable genius, you’re probably not. This cake is not screaming your greatness. It’s just sitting there being beautiful. You know you want some.

Lemon & Thyme Pound Cake | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

This Lemon & Thyme Pound Cake has a subtle flavor of citrus and herb. The thyme is not weird at all. The glaze has more of a lemon punch, but we’re not swimming in it. It’s light and moist with a slightly crunchy crust. Everybody who has tried this cake has really loved it. Plus, just look at how pretty it is.

As always, this cake is really simple to make. We use a typical creaming method, adding in the lemon zest with the butter and the thyme with the sugar to get the most flavor impact. Make sure you spray your bundt pan really well with non-stick spray. Also, be sure to use a skewer to check it’s baked all the way through. You want the cake to release easily. And if you can get someone to help you strip your thyme leaves while you get to work on measuring and mixing your other ingredients, it will save you a lot of time.

Lemon & Thyme Pound Cake | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends. Take a moment to tell someone you love them. And maybe remind yourself as well. And share some Lemon & Thyme Pound Cake with them, while you’re at it. It’s gonna be awesome.

Recipe adapted from Simply Nigella by Nigella Lawson.

70 Totally Awesome Chocolate Treats | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

70 Totally Awesome Chocolate Treats

70 Totally Awesome Chocolate Treats | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

February is National Chocolate Lover’s Month, so I’m bringing you 70 totally awesome chocolate treats. You know you can’t get enough. Drive away dementors, create some love, and indulge in this food of the gods every day. Let’s get to it.

Satsuma & Dark Chocolate Brioche | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Breads, Scones, Pastries, & Pancakes

Satsuma & Dark Chocolate Brioche

Chocolate Orange Scones

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Mini Chocolate Cinnamon Croissants

Nutella Fairy Toast

Pumpkin Butter Dark Chocolate Stuffed French Toast

Double Chocolate Muffins | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Muffins

Orange Chocolate Chunk Muffins

Double Chocolate Muffins

Chocolate Banana Muffins

Orange Cheesecake Brownies | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Brownies, Blondies & Bars

Orange Cheesecake Brownies

Millionaire Shortbread

Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies

White Chocolate Raspberry Blondies

S’mores Brownies

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Mexican Brownies

White Chocolate Chip Brownies

Classic Fudge

Kahlua Brownies

Mint Brownies

Monster Cookie Bars

Hint of Cinnamon Chocolate Cake | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cakes

Hint of Cinnamon Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Buche de Noel

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Mascarpone Meringue Cake

Chocolate Pound Cake

Chocolate Orange Cake

Flourless Chocolate Lime Cake with Margarita Cream (Gluten-Free)

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake (Gluten-Free Dairy-Free)

Winter-Spiced Flourless Chocolate Cake (Gluten-Free)

Practically Perfect Chocolate Cake

Molten Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Peanut Butter Gooey Butter Cake

Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Orange Frosting

Cookies and Cream Fridge Cake

Chocolate Cinnamon Bread

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blossoms | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cookies

White Chocolate Cranberry Macadamia Nut Cookies

Triple Chocolate Cookies

White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blossoms

Nutella No-Bake Cookies

Giant Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Wafer Cookies

Chocofied Peanut Butter Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Pie, Cheesecake, & Pudding

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Giant Peanut Butter Cups

White Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake

Chocolate Lime Pie

Grasshopper Pie

Nutella Cheesecake Parfaits

Chocolate Amaretto Tart

Chocolate Orange Mousse

Homemade Chocolate Pudding for Two

Mini Oreo Cheesecakes

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cupcakes

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

Semi-Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Better Than Sex Cupcakes

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

Chocolate Kahlua Bread Pudding | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Bread Pudding

Chocolate Kahlua Bread Pudding

Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

Vanilla Hot Chocolate for One | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Drinks

White Hot Chocolate

Chocolate Candy Cane Cocktail

Vanilla Hot Chocolate for One

Be sure to follow Awesome on 20 on Pinterest for more awesome chocolate recipe ideas.

Hint of Cinnamon Chocolate Cake | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Hint of Cinnamon Chocolate Cake

This Hint of Cinnamon Chocolate Cake is the softest, fluffiest cake I’ve ever made. Take some help from a boxed cake mix, but make it extra. Then add some rich chocolate frosting and simple decorations for a pretty little dessert people won’t be able to get enough of.

Hint of Cinnamon Chocolate Cake | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

We’re nearly there, kids. I finished work, I’ve probably forgotten to buy a bunch of stuff, and I still don’t know if I’m supposed to be cooking or baking anything for Christmas. But I’ve got something to wear for 70’s-themed Christmas day at my sister-in-law’s house, and hopefully a secret plan to not drink too much. I was off my Christmas game this year, but right now, my Christmas lights are on, She & Him is singing to me, and I’m starting to feel it.

Most importantly, I’ve gotten to spend lots of time this past week walking hand in hand with my love. When we’re together, all is well. Any challenge can be faced. Finding the right person to be on your team is so big. I don’t want to ever forget how grateful I am to be loved by someone so wonderful.

Hint of Cinnamon Chocolate Cake | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Right. Enough of that nonsense. Let’s talk about cake. That’s why you’re here. People kind of freak out when I serve this Hint of Cinnamon Chocolate Cake. It’s so incredibly soft and fluffy. The cinnamon flavor is subtle, just enough to make it a little bit more interesting than regular chocolate cake. I’ve known people to sneak a second piece because they can’t get enough.

The good news is, this cake is s simple to make, you could easily fit it in before Christmas if you’re still looking for a great dessert. We’re taking it easy on the measuring front by starting with a cake mix. But we’re gonna ignore the instructions on the box (for the most part) and go rogue by adding mayo. Don’t worry, it doesn’t make your cake taste like a ham sandwich. Instead it gives it an incredible moisture and lightness that make this cake stand out.

Hint of Cinnamon Chocolate Cake | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’m no cake decorator, so I kept things simple. I made a rich chocolate frosting and covered the whole cake in it. My one tip is to use an offset spatula to spread your frosting to keep your knuckles out of the way. I found a packet of cute speculaas biscuits at my grocery store to cover up my ragged border at the bottom of my cake. Then I placed a star cookie cutter on the top of the cake, sprinkled in some gold sprinkles, gave the sprinkles a gentle press with a tooth pick so they wouldn’t rolls away, and took the cookie cutter away. Voila. That’s it.

Hint of Cinnamon Chocolate Cake | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

No matter what your plans this week, I hope you get to spend time with your favorite people. And if you get a chance, make this Hint of Cinnamon Chocolate Cake, and share it with them. Everyone will love it.

This recipe first appeared on Awesome on 20 in 2013.

One Bowl Victoria Sponge | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

One Bowl Victoria Sponge

One Bowl Victoria Sponge | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’m back, kids, and I made you a completely delicious, light and fluffy, totally fool proof One Bowl Victoria Sponge. You’re gonna love it.

We’ve had a bit of a tidy up around here, and there are still a few changes to come. But I’m so glad to be back with a renewed focus and an absolute stunner of a recipe to share with you today.

You may not immediately notice a lot of changes on the site because in all honesty, the biggest change is my mindset. In a way, it makes sense because this is my blog, so it’s really just an extension of my mind. I want “How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day” to be successful. I believe it deserves to be successful, and I believe I can make it happen.

It feels strange to say it out loud, as self-doubt has always been my default setting. I still have a million miles to travel on this journey to becoming a successful food blogger and a successful human, but I’m hoping some of you will want to come along with me. Maybe we can make each other’s lives a bit more awesome.

One Bowl Victoria Sponge | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Right, so cake. More precisely, One Bowl Victoria Sponge. That’s what you’re probably here for, and you’re absolutely right to show up for this one. This is a Mary Berry recipe, and when I first made it, my expectations were low. We’re using baking spread instead of butter, which doesn’t even need to be softened. And we’re just chucking everything into the bowl at once before mixing it up. Aren’t from scratch cakes supposed to be complicated to be good? Apparently not.

I couldn’t believe how light and fluffy my layers turned out, even in my unreliable oven that usually burns everything. And it stays moist for days. Not that you’ll be able to keep it around the house for days.

I like to serve the cream on the side with my Victoria Sponge unless I know the cake is going to be completely consumed all in one sitting. I feel the cream gets sort of wilted if you put it inside the cake. The good news is, all you need to make the most beautiful fresh whipped cream is a little bit of muscle and some patience. Oh, and cream and a bit of sugar, of course. Whip up the cream right before serving, and let people go to town.

One Bowl Victoria Sponge | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

I hope you’re ready to step into your awesomeness with me, friends. There will be lots of cake along the way, and this One Bowl Victoria Sponge is a terrific place to start.

Recipe adapted from Fast Cakes: Easy Bakes in Minutes by Mary Berry.

I Can’t Bake-Off Chocolate Celebration Cake

Today I’m here with the ultimate example of why I could never go on The Great British Bake-Off. Before we get into how bad this cake is, I want to say that if I was actually making a chocolate cake for a celebration, I’d make this Practically Perfect Chocolate Cake, and load it up with sprinkles because I think great cake is all your need to celebrate.

I’d also never bake something for a celebration or a competition that I was baking for the first time, but for this post, I decided to try the Death by Chocolate cake from The Great British Book of Baking, the companion book to the first season of the show. This recipe is flourless, contains no butter or oil, uses dark chocolate, and is leavened only with beaten eggs. I should have known it would be dry and crumbly. But I trusted the book and tried it out. It was also topped with ganache, which is what most people on this episode of the show covered their chocolate cakes with. I would not make this again.

I also wanted to try a chocolate technique because Paul and Mary don’t let you get away with keeping things simple. They want to see your skills, and I don’t have any of those. I tried to make chocolate brush strokes for the first time. This is something I feel like I could probably figure out with a bit more practice, and a bit more patience. I definitely should have chilled them for longer. I made way more chocolate brushstrokes, but I couldn’t get most of them off the chocolate because they just melted in my hands. Why do people try to create art with something that melts at below body temperature? It doesn’t make sense.

Even though this cake was unsuccessful, I learned something and had fun doing it. Part of this challenge I set myself was not just to prove how hard baking can be, but to push myself to try things I would normally avoid because they’re too hard or too fussy. I’ll never be an artistic baker, but I’m excited to experiment with no pressure. Paul and Mary will never love my baking, but that won’t keep me out of the kitchen.

I think the next episode is biscuit week, so get ready to see some uneven, misshapen biscuits. It’s gonna be awesome. Maybe.

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