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Pecan Tarts

2015 May 5
by Emily Hill

I’m not a fan of pecan pie, but I tell you what, I’m a huge fan of pecan tarts. And so is my family (but they didn’t know it until I baked up a batch of these babies). These pecan tarts were gone in record time—inhaled even without the whipped cream.

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Pecan Tarts -- mini tarts filled with a delicious pecan filling. Perfect bite-size dessert! Recipe via isthisreallymylife.com

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This recipe took a little tweaking because I discovered there are two sizes of mini muffin pans. Mine happens to be the large size, so the pecan tarts required a bit more dough per tart. In the first batch, the filling overflowed the tart dough making them nearly impossible to remove.

Not that it stopped me from eating some of the crumbled remains.

When you shape the tart dough in the pan, you’ll want it to look something like this so adjust the amount of dough accordingly.

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Pecan Tarts -- shaping the dough
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Notice the dough comes all the up the sides of each cup. That’s key! I used a tart shaper to form the dough but you could use your fingers or heck, one of your child’s cylinder-shaped wooden building blocks. Whatever works!

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Pecan Tarts -- mini tarts filled with a delicious pecan filling. Perfect bite-size dessert! Recipe via isthisreallymylife.com

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Once I got the hang of it, these pecan tarts were a breeze (to make and eat). They’re the perfect bite-size dessert for a brunch, dinner group or any get-together.

Printable recipe for pecan tarts below. Enjoy!
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Pecan Tarts
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Tarts
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
You'll love these pecan tarts so much you just might inhale them without the whipped cream!
Ingredients
Crust
  • 1½ cups flour
  • ⅜ cup powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
Filling
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Dash of salt
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
Instructions
Crust
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a mini muffin pan. Set aside.
  2. Combine flour, powdered sugar and butter in a large bowl. Beat 1 to 2 minutes until dough comes together.
  3. Take 2 tsp of dough and roll into balls. Press into mini muffin tin. (Use a tart shaper for best results.) Make sure dough extends up sides of mini muffin cups or filling will overflow.
Filling
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until thoroughly combined.
  2. Place 1 tsp of filling in each tart. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until edges of dough start to turn light golden brown and filling is set.
  3. Let cool for 20 minutes in pan. Remove to wire rack to cool completely. Top with whipped cream.

 

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If you’re looking for more yummy pies and tarts, you should browse my desserts {pies & tarts} Pinterest board.

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Follow Emily Hill’s board desserts {pies & tarts} on Pinterest.

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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Banana Crumb Muffins

2015 April 30
by Emily Hill

These banana crumb muffins are a family favorite—super easy and yummy, I had to share the recipe again. I first posted this muffin recipe over three years ago and surprisingly the photos weren’t bad. But hello, any excuse to whip up a batch of these crumbly, brown sugary, banana-y muffins is fine by me.

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Banana Crumb Muffins -- the perfect banana muffin topped with brown sugar and cinnamon.

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For some reason more of the topping was absorbed than usual (see my original post for comparison); I think it was due to softer than usual butter. But that doesn’t mean these banana crumb muffins, while not as crumby, weren’t absolutely delicious. They’re so good, they could almost be considered dessert.

But if you consider them dessert, then you don’t get to eat real dessert, so don’t do that.

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Banana Crumb Muffins -- the perfect banana muffin topped with brown sugar and cinnamon.

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While the top may not overflow with crumble, it does have almost a candied texture and flavor, and that’s so all right with me.

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Banana Crumb Muffins -- the perfect banana muffin topped with brown sugar and cinnamon.

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Printable recipe for banana crumb muffins below. Enjoy!
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Banana Crumb Muffins
Author: 
Recipe type: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Delicious banana muffins with a sweet, crunchy topping.
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 T flour
  • ⅛ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 T butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 12 muffin cups or line with muffin papers.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins and gently press into batter.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

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If you’re looking for more yummy muffin and breakfast-related recipes, you should browse my breakfast recipes Pinterest board.

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Follow Emily Hill’s board breakfast recipes on Pinterest.

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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How intelliBED Is Perfecting the Science of Sleep

2015 April 28
by Emily Hill

Disclosure: Though intelliBED provided us with a Relief Perfect bed, we purchased the Tempur-Pedic all by ourselves and regretted every minute of sleep on that thing. Post may include affiliate links.

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Interview with the Founder of intelliBED

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In February I wrote about why we switched from Tempur-Pedic to intelliBED and included our top five reasons for doing so. I meant to follow up within a couple weeks sharing our experience sleeping on intelliBED but life and Snap Conference got the better of me and here it is two months later.

*sigh*

But that’s okay because the wait will be worth it, promise. I finally had time to edit our February interview with Bob Rasmussen, founder of intelliBED. Nathan and I met Bob at the local Draper intelliBED store to find out the science behind the mattress and why that Intelli-GEL is so dang amazing. Fortunately for the average human’s attention span, I edited down nearly 30 minutes of video to 15. Sadly, Nathan somehow recorded over part of my interview—I’m fairly certain it was the best part. But that’s okay because I may have had a bit too much fun with the captions. (It’s a problem, I know.)

After the video, you’ll find a link where you can get 10% off your intelliBED purchase and receive a 60-day risk-free trial to boot!
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I have to say this about Bob…he is the nicest guy EVER. I’m not gonna lie, I was a little nervous to talk to the intelliBED founder but he immediately put me at ease. And considering he’s been sleeping on the same intelliBED for 15 years, I feel pretty confident in the longevity of our new intelliBED mattress.
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If you’d like to give intelliBED a try, click on my super awesome quote below (or click here) and you’ll receive 10% OFF your purchase AND a 60-day risk-free trial.

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intelliBED coupon code
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If you have a minute, you should check out my first post, “We Switched from Tempur-Pedic to intelliBED Faster Than You Can Say Sweet Dreams.” The “Top 5 Reasons We Dislike Tempur-Pedic video” is much shorter than the interview and for sure more fun. And yes, it has captions.

Let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be a video of mine without captions.

I’ll be posting a video featuring The Top 5 Reasons We Love intelliBED in the next week or two along with a special promotion for May, so don’t miss it!

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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M&Ms Pudding Cookies

2015 April 23
by Emily Hill

I’ve had this jumbo-size bag of M&Ms sitting on my kitchen counter begging to be the featured ingredient in my latest pudding cookie recipe, M&Ms pudding cookies.

They were also begging to be eaten straight from the bag and I was happy to oblige.

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M&Ms Pudding Cookies -- the softest, chewiest cookies packed with M&Ms in every bite!

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These M&Ms pudding cookies feature my go-to pudding cookie recipe combined with as many plain M&Ms as a cookie dough can handle.

I probably could have handled more but I’m not sure they’d have baked as well.

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M&Ms Pudding Cookies -- the softest, chewiest cookies packed with M&Ms in every bite!

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I once tried peanut M&Ms in a cookie recipe. That was a total fail, so from here on out I’ll stick with plain M&Ms. But that doesn’t mean I won’t try throwing a handful of chopped peanuts in the pudding cookie dough next time.

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M&Ms Pudding Cookies -- the softest, chewiest cookies packed with M&Ms in every bite!

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Printable recipe for M&Ms pudding cookies below. Enjoy!
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M&Ms Pudding Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
 
My favorite pudding cookie recipe with as many M&Ms as a cookie dough can handle.
Ingredients
  • 2¼ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 (3.4-oz) package vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ to 2 cups plain M&Ms
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine flour and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Cream together butter and sugars in a large bowl. Beat in instant pudding mix until blended. Add vanilla and eggs and mix well.
  4. Add flour mixture and mix until thoroughly combined. Fold in plain M&Ms.
  5. Place rounded tablespoonfuls of dough on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are set. Let cool 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Here are some other pudding cookies you might (you’ll totally) enjoy:

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If you’re looking for more yummy cookies, you should browse my desserts {cookies} Pinterest board.

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Follow Emily Hill’s board desserts {cookies} on Pinterest.

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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Meatball Marinara Grilled Cheese Sandwich

2015 April 21
by Emily Hill

It would be super wrong of me to bring you a tasty roundup of gourmet grilled cheese for National Grilled Cheese month without creating my own gourmet grilled cheese sandwich. Today I bring you a cheesy, marinara-y grilled cheese aptly named the meatball marinara grilled cheese sandwich.

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Meatball Marinara Grilled Cheese Sandwich -- a melty, cheesy combination of marinara, Italian meatballs and Italian cheeses on sourdough bread. So yummy!

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This gourmet grilled cheese sandwich is super simple to throw together (does that mean I can’t call it gourmet?) and requires only five ingredients: sourdough bread, marinara sauce, Italian meatballs, a blend of Italian cheeses and butter—or garlic butter if you’re feeling extra gourmet.

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Meatball Marinara Grilled Cheese Sandwich -- a melty, cheesy combination of marinara, Italian meatballs and Italian cheeses on sourdough bread. So yummy!

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You’ll want to eat your meatball marinara grilled cheese hot from the pan because all that saucy goodness tends to make the bread get soggy rather quickly. Fortuntely they’re so delicious you won’t have a problem inhaling them as soon as they’re ready.

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Meatball Marinara Grilled Cheese Sandwich -- a melty, cheesy combination of marinara, Italian meatballs and Italian cheeses on sourdough bread. So yummy!

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Printable recipe for meatball marinara grilled cheese sandwich below. Enjoy!
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Meatball Marinara Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Author: 
Recipe type: Sandwich
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Only five ingredients and super easy to throw together. Make sure you eat it hot off the griddle or your bread will get soggy from all that yummy marinara sauce! Use garlic butter on the bread for added flavor.
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf sourdough bread, sliced
  • ½ jar marinara sauce
  • 2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend, divided
  • 1 (26-oz) package Italian style meatballs (jumbo size; approx. 2 oz. ea.)
  • Butter (or garlic butter)
Instructions
  1. Heat griddle or skillet over medium heat.
  2. Heat meatballs according to package directions. Slice into ¼" slices. Set aside.
  3. Spread butter on one side of sliced bread.
  4. Layer ingredients in pan in following order: one slice bread (butter side down), 2 to 3 heaping tablespoons of marinara sauce, meatball slices , ⅓ cup Italian cheese blend, one slice bread (butter side up).
  5. Cook over medium heat until golden brown; flip and cook on second side until golden brown and cheese is melted.
  6. Serve immediately.

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If you’re looking for more yummy sandwich recipes, browse my sandwiches board on Pinterest.

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Follow Emily Hill’s board sandwiches on Pinterest.

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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20 Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (and You Should Make Them All)

2015 April 17
by Emily Hill

It’s National Grilled Cheese month, which means we should probably eat grilled cheese sandwiches all the days. I’d be way okay with that because I love nothing more than two slices of perfectly grilled bread surrounding ooey, gooey, usually not-good-for-me ingredients. Unfortunately we don’t get very gourmet around here. Our favorite grilled cheese sandwich takes a loaf of French bread and medium cheddar cheese. That’s it. But they’re oh, so good.

Sometimes simple is best (Diet Coke over ice, a Twix candy bar, a nap), but when you’re looking for something far from simple when it comes to grilled cheese, you should try one of these gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. I guarantee your taste buds won’t be disappointed.

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20 Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches -- when you want something more than bread and cheese. Your taste buds will thank you.

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Brie Fig and Apple Grilled Cheese
Brie, fig & apple grilled cheese from Two Peas & Their Pod

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Cobb grilled cheese from FoodieCrush
Cobb grilled cheese from FoodieCrush

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Fontina and mozzarella grilled cheese sandwich from Averie Cooks
Cheese lover’s fontina & mozzarella grilled cheese from Averie Cooks

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Spinach artichoke grilled cheese from Taste and Tell
Spinach artichoke grilled cheese from Taste and Tell

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White pizza grilled cheese from How Sweet It Is
White pizza grilled cheese from How Sweet It Is

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Grilled figs and cheese from 80 Breakfasts
Grilled figs and cheese from 80 Breakfasts

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BBQ chicken grilled cheese sandwich from I Wash You Dry
BBQ chicken grilled cheese sandwich from I Wash You Dry

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Chicken Marsala panini with goat cheese, prosciutto and Parmesan
Chicken marsala panini from Is This Really My Life
(not technically a grilled cheese but it is grilled and has cheese)

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Croque Monsieur grilled cheese from Foodness Gracious
Croque Monsieur grilled cheese from Foodness Gracious

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Cuban grilled cheese sandwich from BS in the Kitchen
Cuban grilled cheese from BS’ in the Kitchen

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Roast beef smoked gouda grilled cheese from Running to the Kitchen
Roast beef smoked Gouda grilled cheese from Running to the Kitchen

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Jalapeno popper grilled cheese from Buns in My Oven
Jalapeno popper grilled cheese from Buns in My Oven

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Bacon guacamole grilled cheese
Bacon guacamole grilled cheese sandwich from Closet Cooking

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Philly steak grilled cheese from Killing Thyme
Philly steak grilled cheese from Killing Thyme

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Chicken bacon ranch grilled cheese
Chicken bacon ranch grilled cheese from Fork Vs Spoon

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Crispy bacon and Brie grilled cheese with caramelized onions from Simply Delicious
Crispy bacon and Brie grilled cheese with caramelized onions from Simply Delicious

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Grilled cheese sandwich with Gouda, roasted mushrooms and onions
Grilled cheese with Gouda, roasted mushrooms & onions from She Wears Many Hats

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French onion grilled cheese sandwich from Feasting at Home
French onion grilled cheese sandwich from Feasting at Home

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Caprese grilled cheese
Caprese grilled cheese with roasted tomatoes & balsamic glaze from Left Handed Kitchen (in Spanish)

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Steak fajita grilled cheese from Cafe Delites
Steak fajita grilled cheese from Cafe Delites
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If you’re looking for more yummy sandwich recipes, you should browse my sandwiches Pinterest board.

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Follow Emily Hill’s board sandwiches on Pinterest.

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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Lemon Bundt Cake with Orange Glaze

2015 April 14
by Emily Hill

Apparently those easy lemon cookies with lemon glaze have truly changed my taste buds because I couldn’t wait to bake—and eat—this lemon bundt cake with orange glaze.

And eat it I did.

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Lemon Bundt Cake with Orange Glaze -- super decadent yet light on flavor. The orange glaze takes it from delicious to perfection.

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What takes this lemon bundt cake from delicious to divine is the orange glaze. Poured over the warm bundt, it soaks right into the cake giving it a hint of orange flavor and an extra dash of moistness.

Sorry if you’re not a fan of the word “moist” but this cake truly is just that.

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Lemon Bundt Cake with Orange Glaze -- super decadent yet light on flavor. The orange glaze takes it from delicious to perfection.

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Wait, let’s get a closeup of all that moist.

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Lemon Bundt Cake with Orange Glaze 3

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Though the recipe has you pouring the glaze over the lemon bundt cake after flipping it onto a serving platter, next time I think I’ll try the method used in this glazed lemon poppy seed bundt cake and pour it around the bundt while it’s still in the pan.

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Lemon Bundt Cake with Orange Glaze 3

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Printable recipe for lemon bundt cake with orange glaze below.
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Lemon Bundt Cake with Orange Glaze
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Cake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
You may not like the word "moist" but it's the best way to describe this lemon bundt cake. The orange glaze takes it from delicious to divine.
Ingredients
Cake
  • 1 box lemon cake mix
  • 1 small box lemon instant pudding mix
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • 4 eggs
Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup orange juice
Instructions
Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt cake pan.
  2. Beat cake mix, pudding mix, water, oil and applesauce until smooth.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat on high 2 minutes.
  4. Pour into prepared pan and bake 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes.
  5. Invert cake onto serving platter.
Glaze
  1. Combine powdered sugar and orange juice in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
  2. Drizzle over cake.*
Notes
* Next time I'm going to pour the glaze into the cake pan using the method from this Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake (http://www.isthisreallymylife.com/2013/04/glazed-lemon-poppy-seed-bundt-cake/) and see if more of the glaze makes it into the cake rather than the platter. It will be an adventure!

 

If you love lemon, you’ll want to try these other lemon-inspired recipes:

Easy Lemon Cookies with Lemon Glaze -- these cookies use lemon cake mix and lemon pudding and not much else to make a super delicious dessert!


Easy lemon cookies with lemon glaze


Glazed lemon poppy seed bundt cake


Glazed lemon poppy seed bundt cake

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Homemade lemon bars


Lemon bars

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Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes


Lemon poppy seed pancakes

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Healthy lemon cranberry muffins -- you can not even tell these are healthy. The perfect combination of lemon and cranberries.


Lemon cranberry muffins

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If you’re looking for more yummy cakes and cupcakes, you should browse my desserts {cakes & cupcakes} Pinterest board.

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Follow Emily Hill’s board desserts {cakes & cupcakes} on Pinterest.

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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