Best Chocolate Cake Ever
cakes, Favorite Bakes

Best Chocolate Cake Ever

Best Chocolate Cake Ever
Best Chocolate Cake Ever

Last weekend my youngest had his very first sleepover. This meant I had some extra time (lets be real, A LOT of extra time) for me to go through my recipes and see what I haven’t blogged about. I realized that I have never posted the recipe for the cake (the best chocolate cake ever to be exact) that helped me fall in love with baking!

This chocolate cake recipe was sent to me by my biggest baking fan when I first expressed an interest in baking. I’ve been hooked on baking ever since. After a few tweaks and tries I was able to create the very best chocolate cake ever! Trust me, this is a cake your whole world will beg you to bake again and again. Below is the recipe for the best chocolate cake ever along with my tips, tricks, and don’ts that I did.

Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Cake

Cake Ingredients

  • ¾ cup of butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup of Greek yogurt
  • 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cup of sugar
  • ½ cup of dark brown sugar
  • ¾ unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Ganache Ingredients 

  • 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 ½ cup of heavy cream

Cake Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the middle of the oven. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat combine butter and 1 cup of water. Heat until butter melts.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, yogurt, and vanilla.
  • In a large bowl (either stand mixer or hand mixer) whisk together flour, sugar, brown sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add butter mixture. Mix on low until just combined.
  • Add yogurt mixture. Mix on medium until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Dividing evenly, pour cake batter into prepared cake pans.
  • Bake cakes for 30-35 minutes. 
  • Cool for 25-30 minutes.

Ganache Directions

  • Put chocolate chips into a medium bowl.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat cream until hot.
  • Pour heated cream over chocolate chips and let stand for one minute.
  • Gently whisk until smooth.
  • Divide ganache evenly into two bowls.
  • Let cool stirring occasionally until spreadable.

Building the Cake

  • Place one cake on a serving plate, bottom side up.
  • Spread the top with ganache in an even layer all the way to the edges of the cake.
  • Top with the other cake, bottom side down.
  • Gently reheat the remaining ganache in the microwave for 5-10 second until pourable.
  • Pour over the cake letting it drip down the sides.
  • Once the ganache has set, slice, serve and enjoy!
Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Cake and Merit Coffee

Tips, Tricks, and Don’ts that I did

  • This cake is very easy to over bake. If you need to bake for more than 35 minutes, make sure you watch it closely. If the edges start to darken it’s time to take it out. The cake will continue to bake while it’s cooling.
  • Don’t forget to let the cakes cool completely before putting it together with the ganache. 
  • You can put the ganache you’re using to spread on the first cake layer in the refrigerator if it’s taking too long to become spreadable.
  • Careful with the ganache. It’s dangerously good. If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself over the sink licking the spoon without even realizing what’s happening. 
  • This cake is a great dessert for a fun dinner party or can be devoured as a decadent breakfast (my personal favorite way to eat cake) with your favorite cup of coffee. Here’s a link one of the best coffee shops in Austin if you’re ever in the area
  • This cake is best enjoyed within a few days.
  • If you liked this recipe, check out my recipe for Mint Chiffon Cake.
  • As always, don’t forget to ENJOY!
Best Chocolate Cake Ever
S'more Cookies
Favorite Bakes

S’Mores Cookies

S'mores Cookies
S’mores Cookies

I love everything about Summer! From the heat to the beach, the magical Sunsets and late nights, the warm Sunrises and crisp Texas watering holes. Summer is my absolute favorite season. One of the things that comes to mind when I think about this toasty season is S’mores! My kids love this tasty summer treat, and we make them as often as we can during the summer months. For this week’s bake I’m baking cookies inspired by this classic summer snack. Below is the recipe for my easy S’mores Cookies along with my Tips, Tricks, And Don’ts that I did.


  1. 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  2. ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  3. ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  4. 1 teaspoon of corn starch
  5. 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips
  6. 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) of unsalted butter (room temperature)
  7. ¾ cup of light brown sugar
  8. 1 egg
  9. 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  10. ¼ teaspoon of salt
  11. 1 cup of mini marshmallows (chopped)
  12. 1 bar Hershey’s Chocolate (chopped)
  13. 4 Graham crackers (chopped)


  1. Roughly chop the Graham crackers, Hershey’s bar, and the mini marshmallows.
  2. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and corn starch in a bowl then whisk together and set aside.
  3. Using a stand or hand mixer, beat butter and sugars in a bowl until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add in egg and vanilla until combined.
  4. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating on low speed until just combined.
  5. Fold the chocolate chips, chopped marshmallows, Hershey’s bar, and graham crackers into the dough, making sure to mix thoroughly.
  6. Refrigerate dough for at least an hour.
  7. Heat oven to 350F. Portion out about two tablespoons sized pieces of dough. Roll into balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.
  8. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until cookies are toasty brown.
  9. Cool and Enjoy!
S'mores Cookies
Easy S’mores Cookies

Tips, Tricks, and Don’ts That I Did

  1. Make sure to chop or tear your marshmallows into tiny bits. Marshmallows puff up and spread when heated. If they are too big, they will create a giant sticky mess of a cookie.
  2. Don’t skimp on refrigerating the dough. Cold dough makes soft cookies.
  3. I had a few different kinds of chocolate chips in my pantry and used a little bit of each. Feel free to choose your own chocolate for this cookie. I bet dark chocolate S’mores Cookies would be heavenly!
  4. For a little toastier flavor, top warm cookies with marshmallow bits and heat with a blowtorch.
  5. These cookies are best enjoyed warm. You can reheat them in the microwave for 5 seconds to get the marshmallows back to their former gooey glory.
  6. If you liked this recipe, be sure to check out my recipe for Oreo Fudge Brownie Cookies here
  7. If you’re feeling inspired and looking for S’More inspiration, check out Hershey’s ideas S’more’s page here for a few delicious ideas for this classic treat.
  8. As always, don’t forget to Enjoy!
S'mores Cookies
New Summer Favorite!
Easy Peach Turnovers
Favorite Bakes

Easy Peach Turnovers

Easy Peach Turnovers
Easy Peach Turnovers

Summer has arrived in Texas which means PEACHES! This weekend one of my little helpers and I headed to the Texas Farmers Market in Austin to pick up some delicious peaches. Besides eating several of the juicy fruit over the sink I wanted to make a few different bakes with the peaches. The first bake on my list was easy peach turnovers. This one is so easy to bake, you’ll want to bake it on a relaxing Sunday morning to share with your favorite people. They’ll be so glad you did. Below is the recipe along with my Tips, Tricks, and Don’ts that I did. Enjoy!

Ingredients For the Puff Pastry

  1. 2 cups all purpose flour
  2. 1 teaspoon salt
  3. 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter (2 1/2 sticks), cold
  4. 1/2 cup cold water

Instructions For the Puff Pasty

  1. Place the flour and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Cut the cold butter into 1/4-inch slices and add to the flour mixture, tossing to coat.
  3. Stir in the cold water until a thick dough forms.
  4. Gather the dough into a ball, flatten it into a disk-shape, and wrap in plastic wrap.
  5. Chill for 1 hour in the fridge, or 20 to 30 minutes in the freezer.
  6. Unwrap the dough, dust the work surface with flour, and roll the dough into a rough rectangle shape.
  7. Fold the dough in thirds, like a letter.
  8. Turn 90 degrees, roll and fold again.
  9. Repeat about 2 to 4 times, wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and chill for 2 hours or overnight.

Ingredients For the Filling

  1. 2 cups small diced peaches
  2. 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  3. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  5. 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  6. Flour, for dusting work surface
  7. 1 large egg, whisked
  8. Granulated Sugar

Instructions for Turnovers

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the peaches, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and lemon juice.
  3. Unfold the puff pastry onto a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, gently roll over the pastry to seal any perforations then cut into 8 squares.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, scoop a portion of the peach mixture into the center of each puff pastry square then fold the pastry across diagonally to form triangles. Using a fork, crimp together the edges then transfer the turnovers to the prepared baking sheets, spacing them at least 2 inches apart.
  5. Cut three small slits in the tops of each turnover then brush them with the egg. Sprinkle the turnovers with sugar.
  6. Bake the turnovers for 20 minutes or until they’re golden brown and puffed. Transfer the turnovers to a rack to cool then serve warm or at room temperature.
Fresh Out of the Oven Turnovers
Fresh Out of the Oven Turnovers

Tips, Tricks, and Don’ts That I did

  1. Peaches are my go-to fruit in the summer, but this recipe can be used with strawberries, cherries, or any other fruit you can get in your area.
  2. If you live in the Austin, TX area, I highly recommend the Texas Farmers Market. They operate year-round at two different locations around the city and always have the best vendors with the freshest produce. Check them out here
  3. If you have the time, make the puff pastry the night before. It’s very easy but does need time to chill. With your pre-made puff pastry the turnovers take just a few minutes to put together and 20 minutes in the oven. It’s one of the easiest and most delicious breakfast pastries you’ll over make.
  4. Make sure not to handle your dough too much when you’re making the puff pastry. A flaky crust requires very cold butter. If your butter starts to melt, pop the dough in the fridge for a few minutes before you continue handling it.
  5. You can use a fork to cut in the cold butter, but a dough blender is much easier. I picked up this one at Target
  6. Crimping the pastries is necessary so your filling doesn’t fall out. If your fork starts to stick, dip it in a bit of flour to keep it from sticking.
  7. Turnovers are best served warm and can be reheated in the microwave for about 10 seconds.
  8. If you like this recipe, check out my peach galette recipe here
  9. As always, don’t forget to Enjoy!
Peach Turnovers
Peach Turnovers
cakes, Favorite Bakes

Mint Chiffon Cake

Mint Chiffon Cake

Confession… I haven’t baked since Christmas except for three birthday cakes for three very special people. I spent several months during the holidays focused on baking holiday treats and I needed some time to reset and refocus on healthy eating. I love baking so much, and I’m good at it, like really good, but I’m also an avid gym goer and very conscious about the amount of sugar and gluten I put in my body. Those two things don’t exactly mesh (real talk “healthy baking” is never as good as sugary floury baking) so I took a small break from the baking world.

During my brief baking hiatus, I didn’t realize how much I missed baking until my cousin’s husband reached out and asked me to bake a very special treat for my cousin’s 40th birthday bash. Her favorite flavor is mint. He sent me an idea for a vanilla mint chiffon cake, and I ran with it. I wanted this cake to be perfect for my cousin, Haley (also the 20+ people I had never met before, no pressure!). So I baked this cake, tweaked this cake, and ate this cake at least 3 or 4 different times before my taste tester and I crowned the recipe below the winner. Baking this cake not only relit my baking fire, but it created the most delicious, light, spongy, and minty chiffon cake you’ll ever bake and eat! Below you’ll find the recipe along with my tips, tricks, and don’ts that I did. Enjoy!

Mint Chiffon Cake with Mint Infused Icing


Chiffon Cake

  1. 2 bunches (or 1 packet) fresh mint, leaves picked
  2. ¾ cup whole milk
  3. 2 ¼ cups plain flour
  4. 1 ½ cups extra fine granulated sugar
  5. 1 tsp baking powder
  6. pinch of salt
  7. 8 large egg whites
  8. 7 large egg yolks
  9. 1/3 cup grapeseed oil
  10. 2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste


  1. 2 cups powdered sugar
  2. 1/4 cup heavy cream
  3. 1 bunch (or 1/2 packet) fresh mint, leaves picked (use the other half of the mint packet for cake decoration)

Directions for Cake

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees. Combine fresh mint leaves and milk together in a saucepan and heat slowly until simmering. Turn off the heat and leave to cool completely to room temperature. Once cool, strain out the mint leaves ensuring you squeeze the leaves to release all the flavor.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, half the sugar, baking powder and salt. In another medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, oil, mint flavored milk, and vanilla bean paste until smooth. Slowly stir in the flour mixture until smooth, the batter will be thick. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. Continue whisking and slowly stream in the remaining sugar until stiff shiny peaks form. Stir one third of the egg whites briskly into the egg yolk-flour mixture. Then gently fold through the remaining egg whites. The mixture should be light and foamy. 
  4. Scrape into a large, un-greased tube pan. Bake on the lowest oven rack for 60 minutes, or until springing back when lightly pressed. Check the cake at 30 minutes and if the top is browning or cracking, oil a piece of foil and cover the top of the cake. 
  5. Remove cake from oven and turn the pan upside down immediately (the cake should stick to the pan) and leave to cool completely – this helps the cake keep it’s shape. When the cake is completely cool, run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it, and turn it out.

Directions – Icing 

  1. Combine fresh mint leaves and heavy cream together in a saucepan and heat slowly until simmering. Turn off the heat and leave to cool completely to room temperature. Once cool, strain out the mint leaves ensuring you squeeze the leaves to release all the flavor.
  2. Whisk together powdered sugar and infused heavy cream to form medium or thick icing. Pour over the top, letting it drip down the sides. Decorate with mint leaves and edible flowers.
Mint Infused Icing Drip

Tips and Tricks and Don’ts That I Did

  1. Don’t use skim milk with this recipe. WHOLE milk is necessary to infuse the mint. I used skim milk the first time, and the cake had zero mint flavor. ZERO.
  2. Make sure you slowly bring the milk to a simmer. Don’t burn your milk or heat it too fast. The mint needs to simmer for it to soak up that minty flavor. You’ll know it’s done when the milk has a light green tint to it.
  3. Don’t skimp on squeezing the mint. Most of the flavor in the mint is still there after steeping in the milk. Squeeze Squeeze Squeeze until there is not one drop of liquid left in those leaves.
  4. Sift all your dry ingredients. This will prevent clumps in your batter and icing.
  5. Folding egg whites is a lot harder than it sounds, but they must be incorporated slowly and carefully into the batter. If you’re too fast, you won’t get the light airy batter that makes it the chiffon.
  6. Don’t forget to check your cake halfway through the bake. If the top is browning add a piece of foil over the top.
  7. Don’t spray your cake pan. It will stick, but that’s part of this bake. It easily comes out when a knife slides around the edge.
  8. Be sure to let your cake cool completely before trying to remove it from the pan. I didn’t give the first couple of cakes time to cool, and they were a pain to remove from the pan. The last few I let sit on the counter for an hour or longer and they came right out.
  9. Icing… I tried it in what felt like a million different ways. I tried lemon icing (although delicious the lemon completely stole the show from the mint). I tried super thin, medium, and thick. The mint icing was the winner, and I went with a thicker icing for the party. Both the medium and thick icing worked great (add more sugar for a thicker icing and more cream for a thinner one), but make sure you go with mint or even a plain would be tasty.
  10. Dripping icing is tricky. I’ve found the best way is to pour it all on top and drag it down a little with a butter knife where you want the drips. I used a tiny mixing bowl with a spout, but a measuring cup would work just as well.
  11. Last but not least a little tip for myself. Keep baking. You love it. Don’t worry about the sugar and the gluten, that’s part of the fun. Cut a sliver to taste and share with hungry friends, family, and neighbors, but don’t ever stop baking. You enjoy it, baking is your creative outlet, it’s one of your happy places, it’s even at times therapeutic, and did I mention how good you are at it? If any of you bakers or bloggers or readers and eaters have tips on what to do with extra bakes, send them my way.
  12. As always… don’t forget to enjoy!
Mint Chiffon Cake
Easy Bakes, Favorite Bakes

Easy Macarons

Easy Macarons

Ah, the Macaron. I’ve seen these colorful confections everywhere and eaten my fair share of them, but the thought of making macarons seemed too fancy for this new baker. Perfect circles? Bright colors? Light texture? Fluffy buttercream? My head was spinning. I could not stop thinking about these sweet treats and knew I needed to give them a try; I couldn’t believe how wrong I was. You don’t have to be an experienced pastry chef to make these delicate desserts. All you need some time and a little patience. It’s a bake I want to continue baking and perfecting. Below is my recipe for macarons along with my tips, tricks, and don’ts that I did.

Ingredients for Macarons

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup almond flour, finely ground
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3 egg whites, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 drops teal gel food coloring

Ingredients for Vanilla Buttercream

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, 2 sticks, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream

Directions for Macarons

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the powdered sugar, almond flour, and ½ teaspoon of salt, and process on low until extra fine.

Sift the almond flour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl.

In a separate large bowl, beat the egg whites and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt with an electric hand mixer until soft peaks form.

Gradually add the granulated sugar until fully incorporated. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form (you should be able to turn the bowl upside down without anything falling out).

Add the vanilla and beat until incorporated.

Add the food coloring and beat until just combined.

Add about ⅓ of the sifted almond flour mixture at a time to the beaten egg whites and use a spatula to gently fold until combined. After the last addition of almond flour, continue to fold slowly until the batter falls into ribbons.

Transfer the macaron batter into a piping bag fitted with a round tip.

Pipe the macarons onto the parchment paper in 1.5-inch circles, spacing at least 1-inch apart.

Tap the baking sheet on a flat surface 5-6 times to release any air bubbles.

Let the macarons sit at room temperature for 1 hour, until dry to the touch.

Preheat the oven to 300˚F.

Bake the macarons for 20 minutes, until the feet are well-risen and the macarons don’t stick to the parchment paper.

Transfer the macarons to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.

Directions for Buttercream

In a large bowl, add the butter and beat with a mixer for 1 minute until light and fluffy.

Sift in the powdered sugar and beat until fully incorporated.

Add the vanilla and beat to combine.

Add the cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat to combine, until desired consistency is reached.

Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a round tip.

Add a dollop of buttercream to one macaron shell. Top it with another macaron shell to create a sandwich. Repeat with remaining macaron shells and buttercream.

Place in an airtight container for 24 hours before eating.

Tips, Tricks, and Don’ts that I did

Follow the recipe exactly. Step by step. Macaron batter can go south really quickly if it is not prepared correctly.

If you don’t have a food processor, don’t worry, but you’ll still need to move the flour and sugar through a fine-mesh sieve. The dry mixture needs to be free of clumps to get a smooth finish on the macarons.

Take your time with your folds and try not to be too aggressive when adding the dry mixture to the wet mixture. If you’re too fast you’ll run the risk of mixing out all of the air you just mixed in.

If you haven’t caught on, teal is my color, but you can play with any colors you’d like. Just be sure to use gel food coloring. Liquid color adds too much moisture to the batter.

When adding your batter or frosting to a piping bag, put the piping bag into a cup with the edges draped on the sides (I used a pint glass) and spoon the batter or frosting into the bag. I’m sure there are several ways to do this, but for me, this was the best one. (I can’t take credit for this tip, it was shared with me by a favorite and works like a charm)

It was really hard for me to get a perfect 1.5-inch circle for the macarons. I threw out my first batch and ended up downloading a 1.5-inch circle template. You can find a ton of free printable templates on Pinterest. I’ve also included a link here.

Don’t rush. These bakes need time, time, and more time. I felt weird leaving them on the counter for an hour, but trust me they need every bit of the hour you give them. They’ll be oven-ready when the tops are dry.

Make sure your butter is at room temperature for your buttercream frosting. If it’s too cold you won’t get the smooth buttery texture we look forward to in a buttercream.

You can also play with filling flavors. I’m thinking of doing a lemon curd for my next batch. The possibilities are endless!

As always, don’t forget to ENJOY!

cakes, Favorite Bakes

Tres Leches Cake

If you’ve been following my blog, you know most of my baking and blogging inspiration comes from trying new desserts at restaurants all over Austin TX. This week is no different, we’re baking a new favorite, Tres Leches Cake (Milk Cake). I’ve heard of tres leches cake, but didn’t know what it was and had never eaten it. Last weekend I got the chance to try it for the first time and OH MY GOODNESS… A cake soaked in milk… where has this been all my life?!?! It was delicious, sweet and the texture was unlike anything I had ever eaten before. Of course, I had to try and recreate it. Below is the recipe for my Tres Leches Cake along with my tips and tricks and don’ts that I did.

Mae Bakes Tres Leches Cake


1 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup white sugar

5 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups 1% milk

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk

1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream

1 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9×13 inch baking pan.

Combine flour and baking powder and set aside.

Cream butter and 1 cup of sugar together in a stand mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; beat well.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture 2 tablespoons at a time; mix until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes. Pierce cake several times with a fork.

Let cake cool in the pan for at least an hour.

Combine the whole milk, condensed milk, and evaporated milk together. Pour over the top of the cooled cake.

Whip whipping cream, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of vanilla together until thick. Spread over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Let the cake sit in the refrigerator overnight and enjoy!

Tres Leches Cake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream Topping

Tips, Tricks, and Don’ts that I did

The batter will be thick. Don’t worry, it’s supposed to have a cookie batter-like consistency.

Don’t be weirded out by how the cake looks after it bakes. Once it soaks up the milk it will fluff up and turn into the delicious picture below. (I almost trashed mine because I was afraid I had overbaked it, don’t do what I almost did)

GIve the cake time to soak up the milk mixture before topping with the whipped cream.

I topped mine with cinnamon, but fruit like strawberries or blueberries would make great toppings too.

This cake is best served after a night in the refrigerator, but you can serve it after a few hours if you’re pressed for time.

“Every cake should be soaked in milk”- #1 Mae Bakes Taste Tester. Truer words have never been spoken 🙂 If you love milk, this cake is for you. It’s big enough to share or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week if you want to keep it to yourself!

Don’t forget to Enjoy!

Easy Tres Leches Cake
Favorite Bakes

Chocolate Baklava

Easy Chocolate Baklava

This week’s bake is inspired by my cousin Erin. We recently met through one of those DNA tests, 23 and me. Her mom and my mom grew up together and lost contact years ago, but through the magic of technology and science, she and I connected.We immediately hit it off and have quickly become great friends. Because I was so inspired by my new cousin who feels like an old friend, this week we’re adding a new take on an old favorite, Chocolate Baklava!

Baklava is one of my favorite bakes to make and since I was making this batch for Erin (who just had twin boys!) I knew I wanted it to be an amazing treat this new momma would love. This recipe is just as easy as my original Baklava recipe with a little added Nutella that gives it a new delicious flavor. Below is the recipe along with my tips and tricks and don’ts that I did. (side note, my baklava connoisseur loved this one too) Enjoy!

Ingredients for Honey Sauce

1 cup of water

1 cup of sugar

1 and 1/2 cups of honey

2 tablespoons of vanilla extract

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

Directions for Honey Sauce

Add water and sugar to medium-sized pot and bring to a boil.

Stir until sugar has completely dissolved.

Turn heat down to medium and add honey slowly while stirring.

Add vanilla extract and cinnamon

Continue to simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and let cool.

Ingredients for Nut Mixture

6 ounces of finely chopped walnuts

6 ounces of finely chopped pistachios

6 ounces of finely chopped pecans

6 ounces of finely chopped hazelnuts

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon sugar

Directions for Baklava

1 package (16 ounces) of filo dough

1/2 cup of Nutella (melted in the microwave for 25-30 seconds)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add chopped nuts, cinnamon, and sugar to a bowl, mix, and set aside.

Melt butter in microwave.

Using a pastry brush, brush the butter on to a 9×13 in baking dish.

Add one sheet of filo and brush dough with a thin layer of butter. Repeat this step until you have layered 10 sheets of filo.

Brush Nutella on top of filo after the butter.

Add 3/4 cup of the nut mixture to the pan of filo.

Add five sheets of filo to the pan buttering in between each layer of dough.

Repeat the two steps above 3 more times.

Add 10 sheets of filo, buttering in between each layer and butter the top.

Here’s a breakdown of the order for the Baklava

  • 10 buttered sheets of filo, Nutella, 3/4 cup nut mixture
  • 5 buttered sheets of filo, Nutella, 3/4 cup nut mixture
  • 5 buttered sheets of filo, Nutella, 3/4 cup nut mixture
  • 5 buttered sheets of filo, Nutella 3/4 cup nut mixture
  • 5 buttered sheets of filo, Nutella 3/4 cup nut mixture
  • 10 buttered sheets of filo, butter top of pastry

Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry into squares and then the squares into triangles.

Bake baklava for 50 minutes or until golden brown and crisp on top.

Remove from the oven and immediately pour the sauce over the entire pan.

Sprinkle remaining nut mixture over the top of the baklava.

Let sit and cool for a few hours before serving.

Chocolate Baklava

Tips and Tricks and a few Don’ts that I did

Make your honey sauce before you start building your baklava, giving it enough time to cool before adding it to the bake.

Don’t worry if your sauce is a little runny. It will thicken as it cools.

Filo dough is very very fragile. I recommend covering the dough with damp paper towels in between uses. Don’t worry if some of the filo tears during layering. You won’t be able to see it when the bake is complete.

Keep your butter hot. I melted mine in a microwavable safe bowl, boiled some water, and set the bowl in the hot water while I put together my baklava.

Be careful not to overheat your Nutella. You only need to heat enough to make it spreadable so can be brushed on the filo without tearing it. About 25-30 seconds is plenty.

When cutting the pastry, try not to cut the bottom few layers. This will help hold the sauce and allow it to soak more into the pastry.

Make sure you listen for the crackle when pouring the sauce over the Baklava. The crackle lets you know you’ve made a perfect baklava!

This bake is best after it sits for at least 3 hours and even better the next day. This gives the pastry enough time to absorb the sauce. The longer it sits, the better it tastes!

Baklava can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer and enjoyed later, but it’s best served at room temperature within a few days.

Delicious Chocolate Baklava
Easy Bakes, Favorite Bakes

Easy Peach Galette

Easy Peach Galette

For this week’s bake, I wanted to do something fun and easy, but also on a personal level, I needed a bake that could be a little bit therapeutic. Baking is my therapy and my flaky crust is my therapist. I’m sure I’m not the only one out there feeling the feels, but with all of the chaos happening in the world, my anxiety has been out of control. This week’s bake is inspired by my need to find my way in the new out of (my) control world and the bakes that get me through it. An easy peach galette that is sure to make you feel good.

This bake is a little unconventional, but super tasty. The fun part of a galette is it does not have to be perfect. It’s more of a rustic pie with a hint of tasty tart. AND since it’s the middle of peach season in Texas I had to do one last peach bake. Below is the recipe for my easy peach galette along with my tips, tricks, and a few don’ts that I did. Enjoy!

Flaky Crust Ingredients

  •  2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  •  1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  •  1 egg
  •  2 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

Directions for Galette

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.

Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until it is the size of peas and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla, and milk. Add to the dough. Mix together with a fork until everything is evenly moistened. Knead briefly on a floured surface.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Divide the dough in half. 

Roll out the dough halves in to 2 circles (they don’t have to be pretty)

Put on a baking sheet and refrigerate for another 30 minutes.

Ingredients and Directions for Pie Filling

4 cups of sliced peaches (about 5 medium peaches)

2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

2/3 cup of brown sugar

1 tablespoon of ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons of cornstarch

Combine all ingredients into a saucepan and cook on medium heat for 5-10 minutes.

Let cool for 20 minutes.

Putting it All Together

Preheat oven to 425

Pull dough out of the refrigerator.

Add peach mixture to the center of each circle, leaving about 2 inches around the edges.

Fold edges to the peach filling.

Whisk egg with 1 tablespoon of water and brush egg wash on the sides of the galette.

Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 425 for 25 minutes or until the galettes are golden brown.

Slice and Enjoy!

Sliced Peach Galette

Tips, Tricks and Don’ts that I did

I used peaches, but this recipe can be made with any fruit or combination of fruit you’d like. I made another one with strawberries and basil; it was divine!

If you use a fruit with a lot of water, be sure to add a little more cornstarch to soak up some of the extra moisture.

Don’t forget cold butter is key to this crust. If you feel your butter starting to melt while handling the dough, put it back in the refrigerator.

This recipe is very easy, but the dough can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator if you need a little extra time.

Serve these warm with a little homemade whipped cream or at room temperature.

As always, don’t forget to enjoy!

Mae Bakes Peach Galette
Easy Bakes, Favorite Bakes

Easy Cherry Clafoutis

Easy Cherry Clafoutis

Cha Cha Cherry… Clafoutis! If you know how to pronounce Clafoutis without asking Google you know way more than I did before starting this bake. I had to look it up a few times and still have trouble.

This week’s bake was inspired by a couple of different elements. The first is an amazing beer we had last week. A local favorite brewery (Jester King) made a wild ale refermented with Cherry Juice and it was incredible! I had cherries on the brain for several days after having that beer so I knew I wanted my next bake to include cherries.

I was also inspired by the idea of baking something I had never heard of before. After a couple of days of research, I found the Clafoutis and was hooked by the name alone. Once I read what it actually was I knew I had to try and bake it. My Clafoutis is a little bit different because I wanted to make it dairy-free. I used oat milk instead of traditional whole milk and it turned out delicious. Below is the recipe for Cherry Clafoutis along with my tips, tricks, and don’ts that I did.


2 cups of fresh cherries, pitted and cut in half

4 large eggs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup oat milk

1 tablespoon almond extract

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons of powdered sugar (for sprinkling after the bake)


Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9″ round baking dish with butter. Spread out cherries in an even layer in the bottom of the pan.

In a stand mixer, add eggs and sugar. Blend until frothy. Add oat milk, almond extract, flour, and salt. Blend until combined.

Pour batter over cherries.

Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 55 minutes. 

Serve warm or at room temperature and dust with powdered sugar

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Cherry Clafoutis

Tips, Tricks and Don’ts that I did

Use fresh cherries. If you use cherries from a jar like maraschino, you’ll risk having a soggy bake.

Be careful when you remove the pits from your cherries. I found the best way is to pull the stem, slice in half, and pull apart. The pit should pop right out once the cherry has been cut in half.

You can definitely use whole milk instead of going dairy-free like I did. Keep in mind it may take less time to cook than with oat milk.

The Clafoutis is done when a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. Due to oven variances be sure to watch your clafoutis the last 10 or so minutes left in the bake. It’s easy to under AND over bake this one.

If you’re local or ever planning a trip to Austin, do add Jester King Brewery to your must list. It’s a brewery on a farm with baby goats. They have great beer, tasty pizzas, and did I mention baby goats?

Don’t forget to Enjoy!

Cherry Clafoutis
Favorite Bakes, pies

Mini Peach Pies

Texas Peaches

My love for Texas runs deep and one of the things I love the most about Texas is the produce. Texas has the best of every fruit or vegetable you can imagine, but the real stars of all things produce are the peaches. The peaches here are incredibly delicious and can only be described as juicy and juicy. Peaches here are so juicy you have to eat them over your sink… literally. I’m ashamed to admit that I lived in Austin for a full 3 years before ever trying one. I still remember my first bite in my friend’s car and the unexpected delicious juice explosion that happened. I came home after and ate 4 more over my sink. If you live in Texas and haven’t had a Texas peach, do yourself a favor and stop at the next peach stand you see on the side of the road. Trust me. You’ll thank me later.

For this week’s bake and to celebrate the start of peach season in Texas I decided to bake a few mini peach pies. This past weekend we made a trip to our local farmers market and grabbed the best peaches they had to offer. Below is the recipe for my mini peach pies with a hint of nutmeg and brown sugar along with my tips, tricks, and don’ts that I did. Enjoy!

Mini Peach Pies

Ingredients and Directions for Pie Filling

4 cups of sliced peaches (about 5 medium peaches)

2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup all purpose flour

2/3 cup of brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon of ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients into a medium sized bowl and toss to cover peaches.

Ingredients for Double Crust

2 cups of all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon of salt

2/3 cup of butter

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

5-6 tablespoons of 2% milk

1 egg white whisked plus 1 tablespoon of water

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Directions for Pie Crust

In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt.

Cut in shortening until mixture is crumbly.

Sprinkle with vinegar.

Gradually add milk, tossing with a fork until a ball is formed.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until easy to handle.

Putting it all together

Divide dough into 2 portions, 1 slightly larger than the other.

Roll out larger ball on a lightly floured surface to fit 4 small pie pans.

Add Peach Pie filling to uncooked pie shells. (about 1 cup per mini pie pan)

Roll out remaining pastry to fit tops, trim and flute edges.

Cut slits in tops for venting.

Mix the egg white and water in a small bowl and brush over the pies.

Sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue cooking for an additional 30-40 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

Mini Peach Pie

Tips and Tricks and Don’ts that I did

To peel or not to peel… lots of peach pie recipes say to peel the peach skin. I left mine on because I love every single part of the peach. Feel free to peel if you’d prefer.

I used a mix bag of super ripe to barely ripe peaches for this recipe. It took a lot of self control not to devour the super ripe peaches over my sink, but it was worth it for the pies. Pick whatever peaches you think are best. If you choose all barely ripe peaches you may need to bake your pies a tad longer.

The pie crust recipe can be used for a full pie instead of 4 minis. If you make the full pie you’ll need about 2 additional cups of peaches.

If you don’t like the taste of nutmeg, feel free to substitute with cinnamon.

Go ahead and wrap your edges with foil before you start baking the pies. Usually I wrap pie edges mid-bake, but for these lil guys you’ll get an even bake without any burnt edges if you foil wrap pre-bake.

Don’t over bake your pies. Once the pies are golden and the peach juice starts to bubble it’s time to take them out.

Don’t be sad if the pies aren’t perfect. I was a little dissapointed when my pretty pies ended up with peach juice all over them, but the peach juice is delicious and adds a little peach flavor to the crusts.

These pies don’t have a ton of added sugar which makes them fairly healthy so don’t feel guilty if you eat an entire mini pie… or two.

You can sub regular flour for a gluten free blend if you want a gf crust.

These pies are delicious by themselves or you can whip up some homemade whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to go with them.

Don’t forget to Enjoy!

Mini Peach Pie with Whipped Topping