Coffee Break

Mini chocolate bundt cakes on

Halfway through the first month of 2018. Anyone still writing 2017 on everything?! I’ll be doing that until June.

Let’s catch up! First, I have to show you these football sugar cookies I made. I posted them last week, but backdated the post since it’s not really a “new” recipe. (Just my favorite sugar cookie recipe!) Still, I wanted them to have their own spot on my blog so you can see the tips/tools I used to make them. If your team’s still in the playoffs, make them. And definitely try them for the Super Bowl too.

Football sugar cookies on

Some of you have asked how to make the red wine chocolate ganache without red wine. Easy: just make chocolate ganache! When we include red wine in chocolate ganache, we have to add a few extras to produce a delicious texture and flavor. Things like butter, sugar, a little cocoa powder, etc. But pure chocolate ganache is just 2 ingredients: heavy cream and chocolate. You can find a basic chocolate ganache recipe with this cake.

Oh and guess what? One reader said she replaced the red wine with bottled orange juice and it worked like a charm! She said it tastes like chocolate covered orange slices. How good does that sound!?

Pictured at the top: That’s my chocolate cupcake recipe baked in my mini bundt pan. I baked them for 20-22 minutes at 350°F (177°C). Fill 2/3 full. Makes about 6-7 bundts. In that photo, the mini bundts are topped with regular chocolate ganache.

Mini bundt pan

Do you have a mini bundt pan? I just got this Nordic Ware one. And imagine the mini bundtlettes you can make with this pretty one. This isn’t sponsored at all– I’m just fangirl-ing for bundts!

Also: I’m resisting every urge to buy this ruffled heart pie dish. Though I’ll probably cave in. I have a couple regular Emile Henry ruffled pie dishes. I love them!

Sprinkle onesie from Target

I haven’t been to Target in months and went a little wild in the baby girl section over the weekend. The Cat & Jack brand is new to me! I snagged this sprinkle onesie for Noelle. And these light pink bow-butt leggings to go with it. And now I want this too. Just take all my money Cat & Jack. Seriously. It’s all SO CUTE!!!!!

I was actually going through my phone pics the other day and realized that I never showed you guys the diaper cake from my baby shower. Or maybe I did? I can’t remember. How much fun is it! I believe my sisters got some of the pieces off Etsy.

Diaper cake

Noelle is GREAT. 4 months next week, I cannot believe it. Every week just keeps getting better. We have a routine nailed down, things are falling in place, and I’m feeling much more confident. (I like this read a lot!) Her big smiles, adorable giggles, and little snuggles help too. ♥ Noelle’s such a happy babe!!! Balancing work and mommyhood can be tough, but I’m doing my best. Right now I try to get most of my important work done when she’s sleeping/napping.

Do you have any healthy-ish dinner recipes you’re loving right now? I made my lemon herb salmon the other day, but roasted broccoli instead of brussels. Forgot how good this was!! I also made a big batch of minestrone soup last week when my assistant Hilari was here during our recipe test week. I’ll definitely share that one on my blog. We loved it.

Easy and healthy baked lemon herb salmon on

Speaking of our recipe test week— would you be interested in more behind-the-scenes/recipe testing posts like this? I loved the response that post received!

And here’s another older recipe I made again this month. I re-photographed them too. Because why not?! Chocolate chip scones with brown sugar, cinnamon, mini chips, and a dusting of confectioners’ sugar on top. Simply perfect.

Chocolate chip scones on

For Goodness Cakes

And now the real reason I’m speaking from the heart today. Over the past several months, my assistants and I noticed a new-to-us hashtag on my cakes on Instagram: #ForGoodnessCakes. We looked it up to see what it meant and found out that through a volunteer network, For Goodness Cakes provides handmade birthday cakes to children in foster homes and disadvantaged youth throughout the LA area. My assistant, Stephanie, contacted the LA office and is now launching a branch of For Goodness Cakes in my hometown of Philadelphia. GO STEPH!!!

The local Philly community has approximately 6,000 children in foster care. We bakers have a unique opportunity to make a significant difference in their lives. The commitment of the volunteers is minimal (bake a cake and deliver it!) and the rewards are extraordinary. Showing a child that someone went out of their way to do something just for them helps nurture optimism and confidence at a critical age.

To help For Goodness Cakes begin operations in Philadelphia you can visit the donation page. Select your donation amount and in the drop-down list be sure to select the option to apply your donation to “Bring us to Philadelphia!” You can also check out the organization on their Facebook page to follow their developments.

We hope that Philadelphia will be the first of many expansions of this incredible organization. And maybe one of you will bring it to your hometown in the future!!!

You deserve all the sprinkles card



  1. Ester Perry on January 19, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    Is the frosting on the football sugar cookies – chocolate icing or ganache

  2. Deb Allmeyer on January 19, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    I loved this post!  There is so much to reflect about, so many ways to link up your excellent recipes!  That outfit is everything…I had a son 23 years ago and would love to be folding such pink goodness after doing laundry!  Making Tuxedo Cake for my book club this month…they don’t know how lucky they are!  Love your post!!

    • Sally on January 19, 2018 at 5:39 pm

      Ahhhh the tuxedo cake! Hope it impresses everyone. I just love that frosting. And, well, the white chocolate ganache + cake pairing too!

      And I love all the pink laundry lol.

  3. Nicole on January 19, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Yes to the behind the scenes posts!

    • Nicole on January 19, 2018 at 1:13 pm

      This Nicole agrees!

    • Sally on January 19, 2018 at 5:41 pm

      You got it!

  4. Cheryl on January 19, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    I live in the Los Angeles area so contacted For Goodness Cake. Don’t have a group volunteering yet in Pasadena area but I’m signing in hopes one will get started soon. What a great way to enjoy baking cakes when you have an empty nest! Thanks. 

    • Sally on January 19, 2018 at 5:45 pm

      If you like to decorate cakes for fun AND make a difference, this is a wonderful cause 🙂 

  5. Ryan on January 19, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    This is such a great cause you and your team are volunteering for! The simple act of baking is literally always such a kind gesture and can really turn anyone’s day around. On another note, your football cookies are a must for any superbowl party and i might just start practicing my icing skills ASAP!

    • Sally on January 19, 2018 at 5:48 pm

      Stephanie is the best for launching For Goodness Cakes on the east coast! Let me know if you try the football cookies. They’re fun! And relatively simple.

  6. Diana on January 19, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    That is SO awesome ~ thank you for sharing that information on cakes for kids in foster care. I have a neighbor who is very involved with the foster care program, and I have been wanting to get involved. What a perfect vehicle (I love to make cakes). Thanks, again! Love your blog and the recipes! 🙂

    And much happiness to you, your hubby and baby Noelle in 2018! She’s adorable! 🙂

  7. Brittany on January 19, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    That is so cool! I love to learn about organizations like this and how people thought of a way to use their love of baking to make such an impact on their communities!
    Another non-profit that I love to follow and try to support is Icing Smiles – they provide birthday cakes and other treats to families affected by a critical illness. I first learned about them while volunteering for the MN Children’s Hospital! I love all this baking for good <3

  8. Jenny on January 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Wow, For Goodness Cakes has such a great idea! I grew up with foster and adopted siblings, so an organization like that is extra meaningful to me. I’m going to look into it.

    We just had an entire week of snow days (welcome to the south. we don’t know what snowplows, salt, or shovels are.), and I was stuck inside for a few days, which led to wayyyyy too much baking. In the past couple of days, I’ve made the red wine ganache (I still need to come up with a use for it, though.), the chocolate cream cheese frosting from the zebra cake recipe (amazing!), your pineapple upside down cake (my first time!), and the perfect vanilla cupcakes. Thanks for being such a reliable source of great recipes! You’re my go to!

    Also, as a fellow food blogger, keep the real life stuff coming. I’d love more pictures with those posts, too! Thanks!

    • Sally on January 20, 2018 at 11:30 am

      Pineapple upside down cake! My favorite. Stay warm. It’s finally warming up here in MD and I hope in the south, too!

  9. Krista on January 19, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    Would love more behind the scenes posts and recipe testing! The science of baking has always interested me. And I think the cake giving idea is fantastic!

  10. Cassie Lucas on January 19, 2018 at 9:51 pm

    Sally, so glad to know about this charity! I live in Blue Bell, PA and I think this is something Philadelphia really needs. Just donated 🙂 Love your blog and your positivity!

    • Sally on January 20, 2018 at 11:25 am

      That’s right near my hometown 🙂 Thank you so much for donating.

  11. Mia on January 20, 2018 at 1:14 am

    Love that you’re working with that charity!

  12. Alyssa on January 20, 2018 at 7:48 am

    We have something similar in Austin called Bake a Wish. It extends no only to foster children but those with terminal illnesses, those is assisted living and the elderly! I’ve been baking for them for a few years and always enjoy it. It feels good to give back, I can practice my baking and decorating skills, and I don’t have to eat the calories!

    • Sally on January 20, 2018 at 11:24 am

      It’s wonderful for anyone who wants to help a good cause AND who enjoys decorating cakes. 🙂

  13. Elizabeth on January 20, 2018 at 9:21 am

    Minestrone soup is so good!! If you’re just looking for recipes, search Chef John on allrecipes. He always delivers deliciousness—you can find some pretty healthy/basically-all-veggies ones from him. My 2 year old happily ate everything in her bowl when I made his minestrone soup!

    Another healthy (pretty much just veggies and lentils) and awesome (it’s probably my very fave soup) soup:

    I just recently made this stir fry and loved it:

    And this one shows up relatively frequently in our rotation—1/2 lb italian sausage gets split into four portions surrounded by acorn squash and apple/onion fall-slightly-spiciness.

    • Sally on January 20, 2018 at 11:21 am

      Thank you so much for the suggestions!!

  14. Kari on January 20, 2018 at 10:18 am

    Gotta say it

  15. Sara on January 20, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    There is also an organization called Cake4Kids, which is the same exact premise of For Goodness Cakes, that serves children throughout the entire state of California <3

  16. Sylvie from France on January 20, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    A homemade birthday cake for these children, it’s really a very good idea. A homemade cake, it’s made with love and I think that they need a lot of love. Life isn’t ” sweet ” for them. Today,
    I made snickerdoddles cookies for the breakfast with your recipe, Sally. Délicious ! Thanks a lot.
    Very attractive the clothes of Noëlle =)

  17. Karen on January 21, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    Sally – I haven’t stopped thinking about the non profit you mentioned. I also shared it with a friend. I also saw you made a hefty donation. You continue to impress me. You have a huge heart and try so hard. Keep fighting the good fight!

    • Sally on January 22, 2018 at 6:44 am

      Hi Karen! Thank you so much for sharing For Goodness Cakes with a friend. 🙂 I appreciate the comment too!

  18. Shannon on January 22, 2018 at 11:21 am

    Love these wrap ups Sally! Also really love the sprinkles shot of course! 😉

  19. Abby on January 22, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Wow, thanks so much for posting about For Goodness Cakes! I live in the LA area and I actually work for a non-profit that works with some of the foster care agencies these cakes go to. This is a perfect way to give back and practice baking skills without eating all the “practice!”

  20. Michelle on January 23, 2018 at 7:09 am

    That’s so wonderful about For Goodness Cakes! I love that you’re opening a branch in Philly. Wow. You’re an inspiration, Sally 🙂

  21. Amy on January 23, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    Congratulations on your new baby girl, Sally! I’ve been baking recipes off your blog for years now and I love almost every one that I try. I’m wondering if you could do some matcha recipes. I looked on Pinterest and really came up short with matcha cupcakes and other recipes. Thanks! 🙂

    • Sally on January 24, 2018 at 9:47 am

      Hi Amy! Thank you so much for the congrats and for following my blog. I’m not the best person to ask for matcha recipes– I’m not a huge fan of it! So sorry.

  22. Kathy Gallo on May 11, 2018 at 1:26 am

    That is SO awesome ~ thank you for sharing that information on cakes for kids in foster care. I have a neighbor who is very involved with the foster care program, and I have been wanting to get involved. What a perfect vehicle (I love to make cakes). Thanks, again! Love your blog and the recipe.

    • Sally on May 11, 2018 at 9:46 am

      Thank you so much Kathy!



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