Humming Hummingbird Cake

Humming Hummingbird Cake- The Girl In The Apron- Lizzy McAvoy


Note From The Girl In The Apron:

Have you ever had Hummingbird Cake? This tasty creation was baked up in the late 1960’s in Jamaica. Named after the Red-billed Streamertail Hummingbird, this cake made it’s way over to the United States and gained popularity in the late 70’s. Transport your taste buds to the Caribbean with this cake. Fresh Pineapple and Ripe Bananas are the essential ingredients in this 3 tiered wonderland and it’s all topped off with a fluffy Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting. I like to add my own twist with fresh grated ginger. What a delicious way to welcome Spring! My Hummingbird Cake with leave you humming a tune! Try it, share with your friends and be sure to tell me what think! Oh and  the best part, it’s quick it’s easy and here’s how you do it!


5-6 mashed ripe bananas, peeled

2 large eggs

1 cup fresh pineapple, finely chopped

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

3 tablespoons vegetable oil (or your favorite cooking oil)

2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated and minced (If fresh ginger isn’t available, use ¼ teaspoon ground ginger)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

Garnish: fresh pineapple and chopped pecans or walnuts


Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting:

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened

4 cups powdered sugar

1 8 oz containers cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and powdered sugar together. Add cream cheese. Beat at medium-high speed for 4-5 minutes, until fluffy and lighter in color.


Here’s How You Do It:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mash 5-6 bananas. Combine eggs, pineapple, applesauce, oil, ginger  and extract to mashed bananas. Mix together. Stir in flour, sugar, baking soda, and cinnamon just until combined. There is no need to beat this batter.

Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-in round cake pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 23-25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans onto wire racks lined with parchment paper, and let cool completely.

Spread Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with fresh pineapple, pecans or your favorite topping.

Alternative: This recipe can be made in muffin tins. The recipe will yield 24 cupcakes. Bake @ 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.


Cutting Fresh Pineapple:

Assembling a 3-Layer Cake:

Chai Spiced Popcorn

Chai Spiced Popcorn

The Girl in the Apron- Lizzy McAvoy

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Note from The Girl in the Apron:

Popcorn may perhaps be the one of the oldest snacks foods known to man and beloved by so many. Dating back to 300 AD this cherished snack has transcended time. But why do we love popcorn SO much?  Is it the guilt free handfuls we can snag on a walk by graze? The many flavor options from savory to sweet? Or that ever so distinct airy crunch that we’re addicted too? Whatever the choice may be, we LOVE popcorn. My own love of popcorn goes back to my earliest childhood memories. When my sister and I would have sleepovers at my grandparents house we had a long standing tradition of movie nights. Grandma would take out her tried and true popcorn pan passed down to her from her grandmother. She’d pull up a chair for my sister and I  to their old gas burning stove and fill up the pan with delicious olive oil and corn kernels. My sister and I would move the pan back and forth on the metal burner; entranced in the magic of those cloud like jumping kernels. Grandma would remove the pan and tip the finished hot popcorn into a large grocery paper bag (A Big Bear bag, shoutout to my Ohio peeps), she’d sprinkle in a little salt, close the top and then hand the bag off to my sister and I. We’d shake the popcorn up in the bag, coating it in that salty goodness.

This Girl in the Apron’s Chai Spiced Popcorn is a twist on one of my favorite childhood memories (made in my Great Grandmother’s popcorn pan); combining some of my favorite spices in the spice rack. I hope you enjoy!

Happy Snacking!



5 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided

½ cup corn kernels (I used yellow corn for this recipe)

Spice Mixture:

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cardamom

¼ teaspoon ginger

¼ teaspoon cloves

¼ teaspoon allspice

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons sugar


Here's How You Do It:

Combine spices in a small bowl and place 2 Tbsp olive oil in a separate bowl.

Have a large bowl or large paper bag for mixing at the ready.

In a large pan with a lid, heat olive oil at medium-low heat until glossy and thinner in texture. Add kernels and cover with lid. Kernels will begin to pop and increase in pace. Popcorn is done when the popping sound stops. Remove from heat immediately to prevent burning. Put hot popcorn in bowl or paper bag. Pour olive oil over the top of popcorn evenly and stir/shake to coat. Sprinkle spice mixture over the top of popcorn and stir/shake to coat.


Mom's Corn Pancakes

Mom's Corn Pancakes

When my sister and I were kids and had sleepovers, my Mom would make the best breakfast the next morning. It was so good that my best friend from 5th grade, Mallory, still talks about my Mom’s Corn Pancakes. Yep, you heard me right, Corn Pancakes. So where did this unusual recipe begin. My Grandpa dreamt up Corn Pancakes back when he worked at the firehouse. It became a tradition not only with his fellow firemen but also at home with his family. This recipe has spanned 3 generations. I can’t count how many times friends or family have come into town and asked to have brunch at our house, just to unabashedly get their fix of Corn Pancakes. I promise you these hotcakes will truly mix up your breakfast routine and be a total hit! And The Girl in the Apron got it honest from her Mom, so this recipe is quick, easy and here’s how you do it!


Blueberry and Honey Baked Brie

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Note from The Girl in the Apron:

I’m all about snacks. I love snacking on snacks, picking out snacks and making snacks. Sometimes my snack game can get a little dull and I roam around the grocery story searching for inspiration. So there I was roaming around Kroger thinking of a snack I could make for my family and I that night. I wanted something sweet but savory. I had a couple pints of blueberries in my cart and I was walked by the Murray’s cheese stand.I instantly thought of California; sitting on the back deck of my friends house overlooking Mulholland Drive drinking wine and eating delicious cheese. I remember the first time I had brie. My sister made it for me at our childhood home in Ohio. She topped the brie with brown sugar and butter, wrapped it in Filo dough and baked it in the oven. It was one of the most heavenly creations I had ever had. So I had a wheel of Brie and a couple pints of blueberries and Blueberry and Honey Baked Brie was born.

Happy Baking!



14 ounces of Brie (sizes will vary; but pick what best suits your needs)

¼ cup honey

½ cup blueberries, rinsed and patted dry


Here’s How You Do It:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, place brie. Place blueberries evenly on top of brie and drizzle with honey.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.

I like to serve brie with sliced apples, toasted bread bites or crackers; but get creative and pick your favorite accompaniments.



Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup- The Girl In The Apron


Note from The Girl In The Apron:

We have come to the tail end of winter and begging for those beginning glances of Spring. In the meantime, while we’re trying to combat the winter blues I turn to one of my favorite childhood recipes: Potato Leek Soup. This soup was a staple in our house growing up and my Mom could always whip it up in flash. You can enjoy this soup all year round, but it’s particularly delicious in the winter months when leeks are in prime season. This soup can be topped with an assortment of delicious additions and can be a great get together food. So call up your friends, make a big pot and even set up a Make Your Own Potato Soup Bar. Try chives, bacon and cheddar cheese…. Go a little crazy and do pulled pork with a side of cornbread or even some steamed broccoli. It’s an affordable dish that is universally loved. And as always with The Girl In The Apron, it’s quick, it’s easy and here’s how you do it! xo L.


5 lbs yukon gold potatoes*, peeled, rinsed + roughly chopped

4 cups whole milk**

2 sticks unsalted butter

1 stalk celery, rinsed + chopped

1 small sweet onion, chopped

3 green leek stalks, rinsed very well and cut half moon

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp onion powder

½ tsp ground black pepper

1-2 tsp salt

1 cup instant mashed potatoes***

Toppings: cheddar cheese, green onions


Here’s How You Do It


Place potatoes in a large non stick pot.

Barely cover potatoes with water and place on medium high heat.

Add 2 cups milk, butter, celery, onion, leeks, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and salt. Add 1 cup milk so potatoes are barely covered. Mix all the ingredients together.

Bring soup to a rolling boiling and cover. Boil for 25- 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. If a fork easily goes through the potatoes, even splitting pieces in half, you’re tots are ready.

Using a potato masher, mash your soup to desired consistency. Add 1 cup milk and stir to combine.

Bring soup to a gentle simmer, gradually sprinkle 1 cup instant potatoes over soup: stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming.

Soup will thicken immediately. Add more or less instant potatoes for a thicker or thinner soup.

Serve warm, add toppings and enjoy!

Happy Cooking!

* I prefer the yukon gold potato. It makes for a creamier and less starchy soup  texture.

** I like to use Fairlife Whole Milk for this recipe. However, 2% or 1% milk tastes just as delicious with fewer calories.

*** My Mom has always used Idahoan Instant Mashed Potatoes. It’s a trusted brand in our house that we love.

**** Keep a close eye on your pot until you find the proper heat to acheive a rollling boil,  this soup will easily boil over when covered or uncovered.


Kitchen Tip: Cleaning and Cutting Leeks



Oatmeal Coconut Scotchie Cookies

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Oatmeal Coconut Scotchie Cookies


Note from The Girl in the Apron:

Oatmeal, Coconut and Butterscotch were meant to be together. They make one of the best cookie combos. Butterscotch chips are easily found at your grocery store and make a tasty addition to this quick and easy cookie recipe. It’s a new spin on a classic recipe. 

Happy Baking!



1 Cup Softened Butter or Shortening

1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, packed

1 1/4 Cups All-Purpose Unbleached Flour

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

2 Eggs

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

3 Cups Old-Fashioned Oats

1/2 Cup Sweetened Shredded Coconut

1 11-oz. pkg. Butterscotch Flavored Morsels


How You Do It:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar at medium high speed for about 3 minutes, until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla extract; mix to combine. Gradually beat in flour and baking soda. Stir in oats, coconut and morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto baking sheets about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. 


My Mom's Peanut Butter Cookies

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My Mom’s Peanut Butter Cookies


Note from The Girl In The Apron:

Growing up my mother wouldn’t bake as much as she cooked, but when she did bake… Oh. My. Goodness. My Mom had her staple sweet confections she would whip up and they were irresistible. Her Peanut Butter cookies were one of those staples. The perfect amount of peanut taste and never dry, these cookies are a home run in my book. And you guessed it, they’re quick and easy!!! 

Happy Baking!



1 Cup Butter or Shortening

1 Cup Peanut Butter (My Mom likes to use JIF Creamy Peanut Butter)

1 Cup Granulated Sugar

1 Cup Brown Sugar

2 Eggs

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

2 1/2 Cups All Purpose Unbleached Flour

1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda


How You Do It:

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Whip at medium-high speed for about 2 mins, or until fluffy. Add peanut butter; mix until combine. Add eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition. Add vanilla. Blend in flour and baking soda. 

Shape into 1 inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Using a fork, make a crisscross pattern on the top of each cookie. 

Bake at 375 degrees F for 12 minutes. Cool slightly and remove from pan.


National Cookie Day 2017: Spice-y Snickerdoodles

Spice-y Snickerdoodles


Note From The Girl In The Apron:

Happy National Cookie Day! Cookies are one of my favorite sweet treats. Coming in all different varieties, cookies always pack a tasty punch. I overlooked the Snickerdoodle for years until a friend of mine mentioned it was his favorite cookie. For his birthday, I made him a batch and my love of Snickerdoodles were reborn. I’ve jazzed my doodles up with a 3 spice combo that packs a spice-y punch. They’re quick, easy and always a crowd favorite. 

Happy Baking!



1 Cup Butter, softened

1 Cup Shortening

3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar

4 Eggs

4 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

5 1/2 Cups All Purpose Unbleached Flour

4 teaspoons Cream of Tartar

2 teaspoons Baking Soda


Spice-y Sugar Mix:

1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar

2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon

2 teaspoons Ground Cardamom

1 teaspoon Ground Allspice


How You Do It:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, shortening and sugar. Whip at medium-high speed for 3 mins, until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; mix to combine. Blend in flour, cream of tartar and baking soda. Shape dough into rounded tablespoon balls.

Mix together spice-y sugar mixture. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet.

Bake for 13 mins, or until golden brown on the top and cracked slightly. 


Thanksgiving 2017: Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

Note From The Girl in the Apron:

When I moved from Ohio to Nashville, Tennessee, I was introduced to the world of Sweet Potato Casserole. On first taste, I instantly fell in love and wanted to make it a part of our families Thanksgiving tradition. Over the past 10 years, I have been improving this recipe and making it easier. The Sweet Potato Mash can be made the night before if you’d like to save some extra time. This Sweet Potato Casserole is topped with a Cornflake and Pecan Topping and the ever so delicious and fluffy, mini marshmallows. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family and I have. Be sure to share with your family and friends. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Baking!



6 Medium Sized Sweet Potatoes, cooked and peeled

1/2 Cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 Cup Brown Sugar

2 Eggs

1 teaspoon Ground Cloves

1 teaspoon Ground Ginger

1 teaspoon Ground Cardamom (optional)

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract


Cornflake and Pecan Topping:

1 1/4 Cup Cornflake Cereal, crushed

1/4 Cup Chopped Pecans

1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar

2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted


1 1/2 Cups Mini Marshmallows


How You Do It:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine sweet potatoes and butter. Beat together with an electric mixer. 

Add Brown Sugar, Eggs, Milk, Spices and Vanilla Extract. 

Mix to combine. Beat sweet potato mixture on high for 1 minute, until lighter in color and fluffy. Spoon mixture into a greased casserole dish.

In a small bowl, combine cornflakes, pecans, brown sugar and butter. Mix together. 

Using a toothpick, draw diagonal lines (roughly 2 inches apart) on the top of the sweet potato mixture. Sprinkle topping alternately between rows, leaving rows blank for marshmallows later on.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 mins. Remove from oven and let stand for 2 minutes. Sprinkle marshmallows in alternate rows between the cornflake mixture, bake for 5-8 minutes, until marshmallows are lightly browned.

Serve and enjoy!