Winning Baking Recipes

Raquel’s Perfect Purdue Brownies (By Raquel Perez) 2007

  • 1 stick butter
  •  3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  •  1 cup granulated sugar
  •  2 egss
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup butterscotch chips

In a small saucepan, combine butter and chocolate chips over a low flame until combined and smooth.  Remove from heat and add sugar; stir to combine.  Add eggs and vanilla to chocolate mixture.  Set aside.  In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking soda and mix with warm mixture. Lastly, fold in butterscotch chips with batter.  Spray a 9x11x2-inch baking pan with cooking spray and pour brownie

batter, spreading evenly.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, testing with a toothpick, bake an extra 10 minutes if necessary.  Makes 18 brownies




Ellies Strawberry Valentine Cookies (By Ellie Chen) 2008

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup strawberry jam (preferably seedless variety)
  • 1 heart shaped cookie cutter

In large bowl, combine butter,sugar,egg whites and extracts and cream together until smooth.  Slowly mix in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar, blending well to create a stiff dough. Divide the dough into 4 parts to make it easier to work with.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the first piece of dough to a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out as many heart shape cookies as possible and place them on a cookie sheet. Remember, for each cookie cut out, it will need a pair. If desired for the top half of each cookie cut out, use a knife or smaller heart-shape cookie cutter to make a cut-out “window” for each top cookie, so jam will show through.  Gather dough scraps and continue to roll out all of the dough.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes, or just until cookies are turning golden. Remove from oven to cookie rack.  If jam is firm, gently heat in microwave a few seconds to soften and place a little in the center of each “bottom” cookie shapes and then cover with one of the “heart window” cut out cookie shapes gently pressing together to seal.  Makes 20 cookies


Orange Chiffon Cupcakes with Orange Scented Butter Cream (By Bridget Marczewski) 2009


  • 2 large egss
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups sifted cake flour (sift before measuring)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup vanilla infused sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon orange liquer (Grand Marnier)
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest

BUTTERCREAM Ingredients:

  • 4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
  • orange sugar or sprinkles for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 regular 12-cup cupcake tins with liners. Set aside. In a medium grease free bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks w/ electric mixer. Slowly add 1/3 cup of sugar and beat to stiff peaks. Set aside.  In a large bowl, sift together the cake flour,sugars,baking powder and salt. Add remaining ingredients and beat with same mixer (no need to wash beaters) until combined. (about 1 minute) Fold egg whites in to the batter being careful not to deflate the egg whites. Spoon mixture, a little over half full, into each cupcake cup liner. Bake for approximately 18 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool in a pan for about 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.  While cupcakes bake, prepare the buttercream. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachement, mix together the sugar and the butter on medium-low speed until well blended. Add the vanilla, orange zest,orange juice and whipping cream and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, until light, spreadable and fluffy.  Transfer the buttercream to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Alternatively, you can frost the cupcakes with a knife or offset spatula. When the cupcakes have cooled, pipe the buttercream in decorative swirls on top of the cupcake (or swirl with spatula). Garnish with orange sugar or sprinkles.

Caramel Coconut Cream Pie (by Rebecca Stankowski) 2011

Caramel Coconut Cream Pie with Dark Rum


1-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (6-1/4 ounces)

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1 tablespoon sugar

6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (3/4 stick), cut into 1/4-inch slices

1/4 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into 2 pieces

2 tablespoons vodka, cold

2 tablespoons cold water


1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

3 tablespoons heavy cream

Pinch table salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter


1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk (do not use low-fat)

1-1/4 cup whole milk (to make a total of 3 cups liquid)

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

3/8 teaspoon table salt

5 large egg yolks

1/3 cup cornstarch

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons dark rum

Whipped Cream Garnish:

1-1/2 cups heavy cream (cold)

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup shredded coconut, toasted in hot oven until golden brown

DIRECTIONS: To make crust, process 3/4 cups flour, salt, and sugar together in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogeneous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 10 seconds. (Dough will resemble cottage cheese curds with some very small pieces of butter remaining, but there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining 1/2 cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Flatten dough into 4-inch disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days. Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on oven rack, and heat oven to 425 degrees. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out on generously floured (up to 1/4 cup) work surface to 12-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhang on each side. Working around circumference, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Leave overhanging dough in place; refrigerate until dough is firm, about 30 minutes. Trim overhang to 1/2-inch beyond lip of pie plate. Fold overhang under itself; folded edge should be flush with edge of pie plate. Flute dough or press the tines of a fork against dough to flatten it against rim of pie plate. Refrigerate dough-lined plate until firm, about 15 minutes. Remove pie pan from refrigerator, line crust with foil, and fill with pie weights or pennies. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and weights, rotate plate, and bake for 5 to 10 minutes additional minutes until crust is golden brown and crisp. While crust is baking, toast the coconut for the garnish by spreading 1/4 cup shredded coconut in a shallow pan and toast in oven, stirring twice, until golden brown, 5-7 minutes. To make caramel, bring sugar, water and corn syrup to boil over high heat in small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook until dark amber, 5 to 8 minutes, occasionally swirling pan once sugar begins to color. Off heat, add heavy cream (caramel will bubble vigorously) and pinch salt; whisk to combine. Whisk in unsalted butter. Pour 3/4 of caramel into pie shell, tilting pie plate to coat evenly; set aside to cool. Reserve remaining caramel for garnish. For the filling, bring coconut milk, whole milk, shredded coconut, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt to simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to ensure that sugar dissolves. In a medium bowl, whisk yolks, cornstarch, and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar until thoroughly combined. Whisking constantly, gradually ladle about 1 cup hot milk mixture over yolk mixture; whisk well to combine. Whisking constantly, gradually add remaining milk mixture to yolk mixture in 3 or 4 additions; whisk well to combine. Return mixture to saucepan and cook until thickened and mixture reaches boil, whisking constantly, about 1 minute; filling must boil in order to fully thicken. (To determine whether filling has reached boil, stop whisking; large bubbles should quickly burst on surface.) Off heat, whisk in butter, vanilla, and rum until butter is fully incorporated. Pour hot filling into cooled pie shell and smooth surface with rubber spatula; press parchment paper or plastic wrap directly against surface of filling and refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours and up to 12 hours. To make the whipped cream, just before serving, beat cream, sugar, and vanilla with electric mixer until soft peaks form, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Top pie with whipped cream and then drizzle with reserved caramel (thin with a few drops of hot water if too stiff) and sprinkle with toasted coconut. Cut pie into wedges and serve. Makes 8 slices.

Read more:

Spiced Apple Cake* with Buttercream Frosting**

By Julie Yarusinsky (Fall 2012)


  • Prep Time 45 minutes  
  • Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes, plus chilling  
  • Yield Serves 12


For the Buttercream

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the cake

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups packed light-brown sugar, plus more for decorating
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, two coarsely grated and two diced


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 2 8-inch-round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper. Butter, then flour paper and sides (tapping out excess); set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together butter, sugar, and eggs until well combined; fold in grated and diced apples. Add flour mixture; mix just until combined. Divide batter among prepared pans; smooth tops.
  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 20 minutes, then invert onto wire racks; peel off parchment. Invert cakes again, and let cool completely on racks.
  4. Make buttercream: In a large bowl beat butter on high for 1 ½ minutes. Reduce the speed to low and begin adding the confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup at a time. Then, turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until all the sugar has been added and is well incorporated. Finally, add vanilla extract.
  5. Assemble cake: Place one layer on a serving plate; spread top with buttercream. Top with another layer; spread remaining buttercream over top and sides of cake. Decorate with brown sugar.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour (or up to 4 days). To serve, bring cake to room temperature; slice with a serrated knife.

*Inspired by John’s Three-Layer Apple Cake via

**Buttercream Frosting from Emily Schuman’s book, Cupcakes and Cashmere

Summer’s Caramel Apple Cookie Cups (Fall 2013) By Summer Warner


1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

Dash of allspice

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup chopped fresh tart apples

Caramel Buttercream Frosting:

8 tablespoons butter

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping

DIRECTIONS: Cream together butter and brown sugar. Add in vanilla and egg and beat well. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and add to the wet combined ingredients. Fold in apple pieces. Grease mini muffin tins. Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full with the dough. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. While still warm, make a well in the center of each cup with a small spoon. Chill the tins in the refrigerator for at least 30 to 60 minutes before removing cookies. To make frosting, cream butter with confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the caramel ice cream topping. (More caramel can be added for a more pronounced flavor it desired. To assemble the cups, remove the chilled cups from the tin. Fill each with frosting and drizzle with a little additional caramel. Makes 40 cups.


Purple Yam or “Ube” Cupcake by Leona Thurn (Fall 2014)

6 egg yolks

4 egg whites

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup grated purple yam

1 1/2 tsp ube extract

1/2 cup vegetable oil or canola oil

1 cup cake flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

For the frosting:

4 egg white

1 cup sugar

3 sticks softened butter

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1 1/2 tsp ube extract

1/4 tsp purple coloring


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 muffin cups with liners.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients: Cake flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar together until egg yolks turn light yellow. Add in the purple yam, ube extract and oil. Blend together until it’s smooth.
  4. Add in the dry ingredients and mix it well.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites using electric mixer until foamy then add the cream of tartar. Continue beating until stiff peaks.
  6. Fold in the egg white mixture into the batter mixture.
  7. Pour mixture into prepared muffin cups, filling each to 2/3 full.

Procedure for the frosting:

  1. Place the egg whites and sugar in a large bowl set over simmering water.  Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch simmering water. Whisk constantly until the sugar melts and the mixture is very thin and warm. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Continue beating on low speed until cool. 
  2. Beat in small pieces of cool but soft butter on medium speed. beat in the shortening. Add the purple food coloring. The mixture may curdle before coming together.  Add the ube extract. Continue beating until the texture of the mixture is silky-smooth.

Fall 2015 Winners: Skye Mcnutt & Breann Kalafut: Chocolate Chip Tres Leches Cake


  1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour       

 1 teaspoon of baking powder

 1/2 cup of unsalted butter

  2 cups of white sugar

  5 eggs

  1 ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

 2 cups of whole milk

 1 (14 fluid oz.) can of sweetened condensed milk

  1 (12 fluid oz.) can of evaporated milk

  1 cup of heavy whipping cream

  4 oz. of coconut milk

  1 ½ cups of chocolate chips

  1 cup of shredded coconut shavings

Steps for Cake Batter

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix 1 cup of flour and teaspoon of baking powder together, set aside.
  3. Melt down the ½ of unsalted butter. Take the 5 eggs, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, I cup of sugar, and melted down butter and whisk in small mixing bowl.
  4. Blend the mixture of flour and baking powder to the mixture created in Step 3, add flour mixture little by little and after done mixing, add 1 cup of chocolate chips to the batter.
  5. Take 8” by 11” baking pan and place a sheet of aluminum foil at the bottom and then lightly coat the foil with a small amount of butter. Pour batter into pan and place into oven for 40-45 minutes on the top shelf of oven.

Steps for Milk Mixture

  1. Add whole milk, Sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk into and bowl and blend well together, refrigerate until cake is finished cooking.
  2. After cake is done baking and finished cooling, poke holes into the cake with a fork/toothpick. Pour milk mixture over cake and refrigerate overnight.

Steps for Homemade Frosting

  1. Add 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, 4 oz. of coconut milk, 1 cup of sugar, and the rest of the vanilla extract to another mixing bowl and whip thoroughly, let settle in refrigerator.
  2. Pour over cake after letting the milk mixture be soaked up by the cake, place in refrigerator until serving.

Steps for Garnishes

  Blend the rest of the chocolate chips and set aside. Take ¾ cup of shredded coconut and place in oven for 5 minutes on 250 degrees or until golden brown.

 Sprinkle ¼ cup of shredded coconut onto cake, take toasted coconut and lightly sprinkle over cake on top of fresh coconut. Then take blended chocolate chips and drizzle on top of toasted coconut.