gooey nutella butter cake

Sometimes things that look awesome aren’t really so great after all.  I remember in 1st grade I desperately wanted a retainer.  A few of my friends had them.  I knew that they came in tons of different colors: pink with glitter, rainbow, even metallic.  I would walk around with a paper clip in my mouth thinking wistfully how wonderful life would be with a retainer.  What I didn’t know was they made you lisp, they would have to be awkwardly taken out in front of everyone at lunch time, they would have to be brushed, you would get in trouble when you didn’t wear them, and they would hurt so bad you could only eat GoGurt for days.  I found this all out in 6th grade when I actually needed one.

But other times, things that look “ehhh” turn out to be amazing.  Like this cake.
I almost chucked this recipe because it looked like such a gooey mess in the pan.  I thought that there was no way that it would bake into something solid and edible… but I decided to bake it anyways.
Thank god I did.

This cake doesn’t look like much, but it is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever made.  It’s also one of the easiest things I’ve ever made — no layers, no filling, no frosting, just layers and layers of gooey, chocolate goodness.  You could add a dusting of powdered sugar to these to make it look a little bit fancier, but I like mine plain and simple.  It’s misleading, and I love that.  They look really boring, kind of like a brownie that wasn’t cooked long enough, but the look on peoples faces when they bite into the sugary crisp crust and the irresistible gooey filling is priceless.

Have you ever been surprised by a recipe?

With love,



1 (18-1/4 ounce) Box Chocolate Cake Mix

1 large Egg

1/2 cup butter, melted

8 oz cream cheese, softened

2 large eggs beaten

1 cup Nutella

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups powdered sugar

    Heat oven to 325° F and lightly grease 13×9-inch pan

    an electric mixer, combine cake mix, 1 egg and melted butter until well
    incorporated. Press into bottom of greased pan with fingers.

    an electric mixer, blend, cream cheese, 2 beaten eggs, nutella and
    vanilla. Then slowly and powdered sugar and beat until smooth.

    filling over cake batter, and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until edges
    are brown. (Do not overbake, the center should be a little gooey)
    From Tidy Mom

    © Cannella Vita. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission/linking back to Cannella Vita. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

    caramel apple crepes

    As much as I’ve been trying to focus on my exams, all I can think about is breakfast.  My eyes wander into cookbooks and onto blogs — ogling pancakes, waffles and frittatas. Those of you who follow me on Pinterest know that I’ve been clogging your dashboards with every single granola recipe under the sun. #sorrynotsorry 🙂

    Since I’m in a breakfast-y mood, let me tell you about those brown butter crepes that I made on Sunday.

    The farmer’s market in my neighborhood has the best honeycrisp apples ever.  Every Sunday, my dad picks up a huge bag of about a dozen apples (along with a gallon of apple cider).  Sure enough, all of the apples are gone by the following Sunday.  An apple a day keeps the doctor away! My favorite way to have my “daily apple” is slathered in warm caramel sauce and tucked inside a fresh crepe. ;). That should keep the doctor away.

    With love,

    1 batch whole wheat brown butter crepes
    2 tablespoons butter
    2 tablespoons brown sugar
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    2-3 apples, cored, peeled, and diced
    whipped cream for serving (optional)

    Heat pan over medium heat and add butter. When it starts to bubble,
    add apples and cook until softened. Add brown sugar and cinnamon and cook 3-5
    minutes, until fully soft and coated in butter and syrup. (Yum.)
    Generously spoon apple filling onto crepes, roll up, add a dollop of whipped cream, and enjoy!

    brown butter cinnamon rice krispie treats

     I recently sent a care package to my counselors who led my New Mexico service trip. I sent my Watershed Chocolate Chip Cookies, and my favorite Snickerdoodles. However, one of my counselors had a gluten allergy, and I couldn’t leave him out of the fun! That is why I made this gluten free (and delicious) treat.

    Rice krispie treats bring back so many childhood memories. I remember in 4th grade we used to get some sort of packaged snack to our classroom in the afternoon, usually raisins or pretzels or teddy grahams. On some occasions however, we would get those big rice krispie treats in the shiny blue wrapper. Those were the days.

    This recipe takes the sweet, gooey, crispy treats of childhood to a new level that both adults and kids will love. I love recipes that put a twist on classic food items. These have a nice nutty, flavorful taste due to the brown butter and aromatic cinnamon as opposed to the sickly sweet store-bought treats.
    Plus this recipe is fail proof and reliable, is no-bake and has only 5 ingredients. What more can you ask for? These are perfect for kids, bake sales and to ship to friends in the mail. I made them with Erewhon Gluten Free Brown Rice Cereal… so they are healthy right? 😉

    Do you have any good gluten free recipes?
    With love,

    8 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 10-ounce bag mini-marshmallows
    heaping ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    6 cups puffed rice cereal (I used Erewhon Gluten Free Brown Rice Cereal)

    Grease an 8 by 8-inch square pan.
    Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a large pot. Once melted,
    whisk constantly til the butter froths and then begins to turn brown and
    smell nutty. Keep whisking until it is studded with deep caramel brown
    flecks, then immediately take off the heat (butter goes from brown to
    burnt very rapidly, so keep close watch). Add the salt and cinnamon, and
    whisk until incorporated. Add the marshmallows, and stir using a silicone
    spatula until the marshmallows are melted and the mixture is uniformly
    smooth. Add the cereal and gently fold in, til evenly distributed.
    Pour the cereal mixture into the prepped pan, and using a piece of
    waxed or parchment paper, gently press down into the pan to make an even
    layer. Allow to cool, then cut with a sharp knife into 16 squares.
    Adapted, slightly, from Bowl Licking

    hawaiian butter mochi

    Butter mochi is an easy Hawaiian local-style treat made with sweet coconut, melted butter, and a gooey rice flour base. Hawaii is famous for its many fusion cuisine treats — such as malasadas, musubis, manapuas, and this sweet butter mochi. I have cousins in Hawaii, and have grown up savoring all of these delicious treats inspired by the diverse local culture whenever I visit. In fact, my oldest cousin also has a baking blog where she shares her recipes and reviews various restaurants in Oahu.

    made in mini-muffin cups

    This would be a great dessert for any tropical themed party, it’s also great for potlucks, and can easily feed a crowd. Everyone I know has fallen in love with its plump and chewy texture and irrisitable notes of butter, eggs, and vanilla. To find mochiko flour, look in your local Japanese/Asian store, or call a specialty store to see if they have it.
    With love,

    1/2 cup butter
    4 eggs
    3 cups sugar
    4 cups mochi flour (you will need two boxes of mochiko)
    3 teaspoons baking powder
    1 can coconut milk (12 oz.) – add water to make 2 cups
    1 can (13 oz.) evaporated milk – add water to make 2 cups
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    1 teaspoon coconut extract
    2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare your pan with butter and flour. I made an 8×8 square pan of mochi and some mini cupcakes. The batter will fill 2 square baking pans, or one baking pan and one mini cupcake pan. Sprinkle the pans with a little bit of mochiko.
    In your stand mixer, cream together butter, sugar and eggs with an electric mixer. Add the mochiko and baking powder, along with the coconut milk and evaporated milk. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and the coconut extract. Next, add the shredded sweetened coconut.
    Pour half the batter into the pan and place it in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, take the mochi out of the oven and sprinkle some shredded coconut on top. Bake for another 30 minutes. Cool, and cut into squares.
    For the mini cupcakes: Bake at 325 degrees F for about 15 minutes, then sprinkle some coconut on top, and bake for 15 minutes more.

    butter croissants

    Rich, warm and buttery fresh from the oven
    A luxurious, weekend breakfast

    I have to be honest, the task of making my own croissants from scratch was intimidating at first; however, once I got immersed in the challenge, not only was it fun, but the process was much more fool-proof than I expected. Plus, the finished product was so worth it — I’ve never experienced anything quite like pulling these flaky, light pastries out of a warm oven, with their luxurious buttery aroma wafting around my kitchen. And they tasted that much better knowing that I made them with my own hands. These croissants were magically delicious. They had a soft, delicate, pillowy interior with a crisp, buttery, outer layer that shattered upon being bitten into. So have no fear, I will walk you through step-by-step and on making these melt-in-your mouth croissants at home.
    With love,


    Adapted from Best of Fine Cooking: Breads

    For the dough:
    4 cups all purpose flour (plus more for rolling)
    1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons cold water
    1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons milk (I ran out of milk, so I used almond milk)
    1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
    1 tablespoon + 1 scant teaspoon instant yeast
    2 1/4 teaspoon salt
    Butter Layer:
    1 1/4 cups cold, unsalted butter
    Egg wash:
    1 egg
    Day 1
    1. Combine all of the dough ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. 
    2. Mix on low speed for 3 minutes, and medium speed for an additional 3 minutes. 
    3. Place the dough on a lightly floured plate, wrap well in plastic, and refrigerate overnight
    Day 2
    1.   Cut the cold butter lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick slabs (about 3 slabs per stick) and arrange the pieces on a sheet of parchment paper to form a 6×6 inch square. 
    2. Top with another sheet of parchment and pound the butter with even strokes with a rolling pin. 
    3. As the pieces begin to stick together, use more force and roll it into a 7.5×7.5 inch square.
    4. Trim the edges off and pound them into the center of the square.
    5. Refrigerate while you roll out the dough.
    6. Unwrap the dough and lay it on a lightly floured surface. 
    7. Roll it into a 10.5 inch square.
    8. Take the butter square out of the fridge and unwrap and place it on the dough so that the points of the butter square are centered along the sides of the dough square. 
    9. Fold the flaps of dough over the butter and press the edges together to completely seal the butter inside the dough.
    10. Lightly flour the top and bottom of the dough, and roll it into an 8×24 inch rectangle, focusing on lengthening rather than widening. 
    11. Pick up one short end of the dough and fold it over the dough, leaving one third of the dough exposed, and roll it over once more (fold the dough into thirds)
    12. Freeze for 20 minutes. 
    13. Repeat the rolling and folding process (steps 10-12) 2 more times.
    14. Cover the dough and refrigerate overnight.
    Day 3
    1. Unwrap and lightly flour the top and bottom of the dough.
    2. Roll the dough into a long and narrow strip (8×44 inches) *hang in there! its a great arm workout!
    3. After you have finished rolling, check to make sure that there is enough excess dough on both ends to allow you to trim the ends straight and allow for the remaining strip of dough to be 40 inches long.
    4. Lay a tape measure lengthwise along your dough. On one side, mark the dough in 5 inch intervals. On the other side, mark the dough at 2.5 inch intervals. Make diagonal cuts by positioning a ruler at the top corner and the first bottom mark (2.5″ side). With a knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough diagonally along these lines to form 15 triangles.
    5. Shape the croissants by making a 1/2 inch notch in the center of the short side of each triangle (this gives them a crescent shape). Hold the dough and gently elongate it without squeezing or compressing. Lay the croissant on the counter with the notched side closest to you and roll the dough away from you toward the pointed end. Flare your hands outward as you roll to make the “legs” longer. 
    6. Bend the two “legs” toward each other in a crescent shape and place on a baking sheet (I recommend around 5-7 croissants per sheet).
    7. Brush the croissants with egg wash (place leftover egg wash in the fridge to use later)
    8. Proof the croissants for 1 1/2 to 2 hours (Or proof them overnight in the fridge, and let them come to room temperature for about an hour before baking in the morning)
    9. Brush them once more with egg wash.
    10. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
    11. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway, until they have a nice golden brown color and darkened edges. 
    12. Cool and enjoy!