MasterChef Guest Post – Carrie Peterson’s Whoopie Pies

Today’s guest blog entry is from one of the closest friends I made from the whole MasterChef ordeal ADVENTURE – Carrie Landry Peterson.

In LA, she and Carrie Stevens shared the room next to mine. During our downtime, Carrie and I would hang out – Boozy disposable coffee cups in hand – and swap conspiracy theories and observations about the general nonsense that surrounded us.

Since getting home… well, things are more or less the same. Swap out a hot, humid hotel hallway for our respective homes, add a couple phones, and change out the paper cups for real glasses. You know, except when we’re feeling nostalgic!

Love this girl!

Hello Everyone! My name is Carrie Peterson and I’m an Airline Pilot who loves to cook!

By now, you all know that Marie appeared on the FOX show MasterChef! This is how she had, I mean..I had the pleasure of meeting her! Marie has asked me to share with you, my “wicked good” Whoopie Pie recipe.

Whoopie Pies you ask?!? Yup, this would be the dessert that I have made since the ripe age of 8! I can make these scrumptious desserts in my sleep. So what better dish for me to make on my MasterChef TV audition, right?!?! Right…

So here is a little history on my beloved dessert…The Whoopie Pie was created in 1925 by Labadie’s Bakery in Lewiston, Maine. It’s the official state treat, does your state have an official treat? No? Well, what are you waiting for? Get on it!!

I’m not sure what Marie has shared with all of you fabulous people about her experience on MasterChef. Lets just say…it was interesting! We have all made 99 new friends for life! We have also learned that boxed wine served in to go coffee cups is like a glass of heaven after a long day of filming! I wish we could share more with you… Like who won, but you will have to watch yourselves!! Sorry!

Ok, enough of my rambling on….may I present to you, my “wicked good” Whoopie Pie recipe.



3 c sugar
1 c butter (room temp)
4 eggs
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 tbsp vanilla
6 c flour
2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 c milk


1 1/2 c shortening
3 c confectioners’ sugar
1 1/3 c marshmallow topping
Dash of salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 to 1/2 c milk

Preheat oven to 350′ or convection oven to 315′.

In a large bowl using a mixer, beat sugar, butter, and eggs. Add the oil and vanilla and beat again.

In a separate bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Add half of the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, stir or beat to blend. Add 1 1/2 c milk and beat again. Add the remaining dry mixture, blend until incorporated. Add the remaining 1 1/2 c milk and blend.

Depending on what size cake you would like (I make several sizes, depending on what it is for) you can use a large spoon or a measuring cup. Scoop your desired size cake batter on a cookie sheet (I line mine with parchment paper). Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool on wire rack.

In a bowl using an electric mixer, combine all of the ingredients except the milk and beat well. Add just enough milk to achieve a creamy frosting. Spread the filling on one cake half and top it with another cake half.

This recipe makes either 16 LARGE Whoopie Pies or 50 or so small Whoopie Pies.

Let me know what you all think!

Carrie xx

Cardamom Pear Streusel Muffins

So, we’re having a bonus FRIDAY post today, by popular demand. You see, I made muffins last Sunday… first time in a few years! Between having to go off gluten for a couple years, not having a kitchen (tornado!) for much of that time, etc? Muffins weren’t on my priority list.

We had a handful of pears about to go bad this week, though. Seemed like the perfect excuse to whip out an old favorite – Cardamom Pear Streusel muffins!

I created this recipe a few years ago, when I went on a crazy muffin making binge. SO many awesome recipes came from that week – I’ll be sure to post them in the near-ish future.

Cardamom and Pear is one of my favorite flavor combinations for baking with, so of course I had to incorporate them into a muffin recipe. This recipe makes 12 big, moist, and delicious muffins with a delicate crumb and warm, exotic flavor. It’s the perfect way to start a day!

Anyway. I posted a photo and description of these online that morning, and was inundated with excited comments and requests for the recipe. As I have most of May already scheduled, I figured this would merit an extra blog entry.. and here we are, just in time for the weekend!

Cardamom Pear Streusel Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp. vanilla
1.5 cups grated pear (~2 large)

Cardamom-Streusel Topping (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line 12 muffin cups with liners, or spray with baking spray.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and cardamom. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.

In another bowl, combine eggs, milk, melted butter, vanilla pears. Add egg mixture all at once to the flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy.) Divide batter between 12 prepared muffin cups, filling each to almost full. Sprinkle streusel topping over muffin batter in cups.

Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups; serve warm. Makes 12 muffins.

Cardamom-Streusel Topping:

1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
2 Tbsp butter, chopped

In small bowl, mix together flour, sugar, and cardamom. Use a pastry cutter or two forks to cut in 2 tablespoons butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Gluten Free Chai Doughnut/Donut Holes Recipe

So…. it took a while, but I think I’m finally starting to get the hang of this whole “living without gluten” nonsense.

This weekend, we held our annual “St Pi-trick’s Day” party. We combined my husband’s favorite day (Pi Day), with mine – St Patrick’s Day. The entire menu consists of foods that are either round/spherical, include the word “pi” (Pizza, Pineapple punch), and are also Irish themed. Normally, it’s a very gluten-y spread, and I’ll have something on the side for myself – a store bought gluten free pie, some caulcannon left over from the pizza, etc.

This year, I decided to take on an additional challenge with the menu: Aside from the pizza, everything I served was additionally gluten free!

I was a bit worried about how it would all go over, as I’m the only one in the group with the allergy. I know that I would definitely pick gluten over gluten free, if I could do so without… um.. unpleasant repercussions! So, I was a little concerned that I was sentencing our guests to a less than stellar menu.

WELL. Guess I didn’t need to worry – the gluten free stuff flew off the plates even faster than the full-gluten pizza! These doughnuts, in particular, were a huge hit. My husband had missed the part about them being gluten free, tried one, and immediately felt bad that I created something THAT tasty, and would “be missing out”. He couldn’t tell they were GF, and that seemed to be a common theme.

These were super easy to make, whipping up in just a few minutes. They incorporate my favorite chai spices, and they taste amazing. The texture was great, too! With these, I think I CAN handle living without wheat, without losing my mind!

Enjoy! (more…)

B-52 Cake Recipe

You’ll probably recognize this cake as the cover shot of my second cookbook, Evil Cake Overlord.

It was actually a last minute substitution for the original photo we’d planned for the cover… while our “Citrus Splendor” cake is gorgeous – and super delicious! – it just lacked the “ominous” and “evil!” look I was aiming for, for this cover.

B052 cake, on the other hand, did NOT disappoint. Look at these photos. That cake is leering at you, just daring you to make it!

B-52 cake was a favorite from my cake flavors menu back in the day, and was actually a fairly popular choice for wedding and groom cakes. It’s something that anyone can make, but it definitely involves a bit more time, effort, and dirty dishes than many of the other cake recipes on this blog, and in Evil Cake Overlord.

B52 Cake

The ambitious will be rewarded for their efforts though – this cake is stunning both to the eyes AND the mouth! Alternating layers of blood orange and mocha cake are filled with alternating layers of Irish cream buttercream and Blood Orange chocolate truffle ganache!

Give it a go… and be sure to send us pictures!


French Martini Marble Cake Recipe

If you remember my “Going Ananas” post this past summer, you’ll remember the French Martini – a delicious cocktail featuring pineapple juice and Chambord liqueur.

This recipe had been originally photographed for inclusion in “The Spirited Baker“. It ended up cut from that book, in favor of including the recipe (sans photo!) in “Evil Cake Overlord“.

This cake has a subtle but sophisticated taste. The berry taste of the Chambord liqueur is the perfect complement to the pineapple juice!

French Martini Upside Down Cake


Gluten Free Fruitcake Recipe

Yesterday, I blogged my brand new, AMAZING recipe for Gluten-free fruitcake cookies. Today, I have a sister recipe to it!

Forget everything you’ve heard about fruitcake, and about gluten free baking. This is a gorgeous, extremely tasty fruitcake that will be loved by all – fans of regular fruitcake, fruitcake haters, people with gluten allergies, and even those who aren’t restricted to gluten free.

This cake has a wonderful texture – you’d never know it was gluten free. Trust me – I’m the BIGGEST snob about gluten free baked goods!

gluten free fruitcake

This cake, though? I’d eat this for breakfast, in addition to as a snack, or dessert. I’ll be making variations of this throughout the year, to satisfy any urge for baked goods. This is WAY too good to be designated JUST a holiday thing!

We used a mix of raisins, cranberries, cherries, apricots, and pineapple, but you can use a combination of whatever dried fruit you love. It is boozed up with Southern Comfort, which works SO well with the fruit flavors, in my opinion.

For a HUGE variety of dried fruits, there’s no beating Nuts Online. Apples, blackberries, cantaloupe – so much variety! Just go for the more natural, chewy type dried fruit. Banana chips, freeze dried, etc won’t work as well.


Bahama Mama Torte Recipe

Ever had a Bahama Mama cocktail? Very tasty!

To make one, combine:

1/4 oz Kahlua
1/2 oz dark rum
1/2 oz Malibu
1/4 oz 151 proof
4 oz pineapple juice

Shake together in a Boston Shaker filled with ice. Strain into a tall glass filled with ice chips.

Have a little more time on your hands, and looking for a dessert version? Try my “Bahama Mama” torte!

This recipe is one of the over 160 dessert recipes featured in The Spirited Baker – all flavored with alcohol yet. Got your copy yet? Got your holiday shopping done? If not, you can order the book HERE. 😀


“Rum Runner” Trifle Recipe

I am a big fan of Rum Runners. They’re definitely up there among my favorite cocktails ever*.

As the weather gets cold enough to require jackets and gloves, I realize that this summer was sorely lacking in the Rum Runner department. Though it seems sort of out-of-season now, it’s something we’ll definitely have to correct NEXT summer. You know, as we lounge around on our deck and patio, NOT busting our backs all summer doing tornado cleanup and repairs!

While it may be too cold to pour up a fancy, tropical rum runner cocktail, it’s NOT too cold to whip up a dessert inspired by its flavors!

This was one of the first recipes slated for “The Spirited Baker“. In the course of multiple re-hashes of the layout, format, and groupings… I managed to forget to include it. Whoops! You’ll have to buy the book for the other 160+ awesome recipes!

This recipe seems involved, but it comes together quite easily! The cake should be made at least a day before serving, but can be made even further ahead than that! Feel free to tightly wrap the slab of cake in plastic wrap and freeze for a couple of weeks, allowing it to defrost for an hour or two before cutting it up.

While I like to make up my trifles fresh RIGHT before serving them, many people find that they get better by aging a day or two in the fridge – making them an excellent dessert for entertaining!

Limoncello Madeleines

Madeleines are a traditional tea cake – almost a cookie – from northeastern France. While there are several different variants of flavor for the cakes, one thing is pretty much constant – the shape. Madeleines are baked using a special pan with shallow, shell shaped indentations. Very pretty! Madeleine pans can be purchased at many department and home goods stores, or online.

Traditional Madeleines are great as is… but the addition of a citrusy liqueur kicks it up a notch. If Limoncello isn’t your thing, try this with Grand Marnier, even Triple Sec for a new take on a classic! Alternatively, try omitting the zest and liqueur, and using 1-2 tsp of homemade flavor extract. Such a simple, elegant treat… but the possibilities are endless!

The recipe is one of over 165 delicious dessert recipes featured in our first cookbook, “The Spirited Baker“.

Going Ananas – French Martini Upside Down Cake Recipe!

They say that inspiration can come from anywhere, and this recipe is a great example of that.

A few days ago on Twitter, Jann Arden made a fairly innocuous – and accurate – statement. A few people jumped on her, she retweeted my snarky response about the whole thing (!!!), and I made a handful of new friends.

One of those new friends, Christin Jerome tweeted something a little bizarre, which ended up being a case of autocorrect taking over. I joked with her that I’d seen she was from Montreal, and had written it off as being a result of that. One of the comediennes in either This Hour Has 22 minutes or Royal Canadian Air Farce – I’m assuming it was Mary Walsh – once quipped about Francophone culture being completely incomprehensible to the rest of Canada, and.. she wasn’t far off! We laughed, and ended up discussing bizarre Francophone children’s programming… and talking pineapples.

Have you heard of “TeleFrancais”? It’s, um… wildly fascinating, if you’re in the right mindset:

– Talking pineapples.
– Dancing skeletons.
– A stoned (?) pilot.

We agreed that it would probably be hilarious to watch after a few drinks… and the idea to make a cake based on this conversation was born.

I call it “Going Ananas*” in honor of the trippy talking pineapple. but this is more formally a French Martini Upside Down Cake. When I think “French” and “Pineapple” together, I immediately think “French Martini” – one of my favorite cocktails ever. I am a HUGE fan of Chambord (Black Raspberry) liqueur, afterall!