I have always had a sweet tooth, and that’s putting it lightly. I remember being ten and eating a whole container full of homemade pumpkin chocolate chip muffins (in a few hours). One of my happiest memories was discovering that there were layers of cookies underneath the top set in those Milano bags...you know what I’m talking about. To this day, every time I go to my parents house my mom makes sure there is some homemade dessert waiting for me. Most times I barely say hi to my mom & dad before heading straight to the kitchen to devour whatever deliciousness she’s crafted up. I’m also the type of person who will stop eating her meal early just so I can have more dessert. Okay I think you get the point.
Luckily for me and my sweet cravings I grew up surrounded by the best (and I mean the BEST) bakers. Some of my aunts, grandmas, and cousins each have a signature dessert I love but none top my mom’s skills. I can’t brag enough about how great she is and I think most people who’ve had her sweets would agree. She also shares my love of desserts so I get it all from her.
When I was younger I could not bake at all. It wasn’t a natural skill like my mom and sister allie have. I remember burning (a lot) or not baking things completely (doughy centers anyone?) but current me would challenge anyone to a bake-off (I swear I don’t have an ego).
I love to bake all types of recipes but my favorites by far all come from Milk Bar. If you don’t know about the Milk Bar bakery, please do yourself a favor and look them up. They are based in NYC and their recipes take any classic recipe to the next level. I received their first cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar (10/10 would recommend), a few years ago and all of my favorite desserts are now found in that book. Let me just tease you: chocolate chip cornflake cookies, crack pie, toasted marshmallow mint pie, and their funfetti cake are some of my favs.
For my birthday this year I decided to try a new recipe from Milk Bar. And yes I know what you’re thinking...you made your own birthday cake? First of all, I love to bake which should be totally clear by now and I also am a control freak...so yes I made my own cake. I tapped in the help of my sisters (let’s be real- one sister helped while the other taste tested every step of the way) and it ended up being a really fun night.
I’ve got 4 words for you: german. chocolate. layered. cake. This was my birthday wish- chocolate goodness with layers of toasted coconut and pecans. This cake tops all cakes and might now be my favorite cake of all time. I know coconut is not a lot of peoples favorite but I can’t get enough of it. (On a girls trip this past winter I made the best fro-yo mix loaded with coconut. I begged everyone to try some but couldn’t get one girl to commit...the nerve!) The coconut filling in this cake is like nothing I’ve ever had. The link to the recipe is below and I highly suggest trying this out if you have a birthday coming up or if, like me, you make cakes during the middle of the week.
I think one of the reasons I enjoy making Milk Bar recipes so much is because of all the steps. I know this is often the reason so many people dislike baking but for me it leaves no room for error. For someone like myself who is highly anxious this totally calms me. It doesn’t give my mind the ability to wander and think about the millions of different things it typically does. Baking allows me to escape for a little bit. And honestly what’s better than clearing your mind and having a warm chocolate chip cookie after? I’ll tell ya, not much.
***if you are ever in need of a cake or other dessert please reach out to me! no seriously, I love to bake & would be happy to bake something for you.