Bittersweet Chocolate Oats Mini Cupcakes

Happy Friday! 🙂

Do you want super moist and gluten-free cupcakes?  Well, come on over and have some.  😀

I had a very stressful and disappointing week, but I am glad it’s Friday.  The entire house is clean, the laundry is done, bills are paid.  What better way to end the week than to indulge in everyone’s favorite treat; chocolates!  Yes, I am going to eat chocolates today.  I am treating myself.  So, join me and let’s unwind and sink our teeth into these wicked, super moist and gluten-free mini cupcakes frosted with silky smooth chocolate ganache paired with your favorite tea, coffee or Mango Lemonade (recipe follows) and dream away.  Perfect treats to de-stress after a long hard week, don’t you think?  😀

Mini cupcakes with ganache.

Mini cupcakes with ganache.

My family and I can eat anything with gluten, but because of my children’s allergy, I try giving them gluten-free baked goods as much as possible just in case (their doctor said they are not allergic to gluten).  But my children adamantly dislike store-bought gluten-free foods simply because they are so hard and dry.  So, I spent my time this morning experimenting in the kitchen using oat flour to make some cupcakes.  Well, it came out super moist and oh, so chocolatey! ❤ it! 🙂


  • 1 1/2 cups organic oat flour, sifted
  • 1/3 cup Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips, melted
  • 1/2 cup 100% unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2/3 cup freshly brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup plain Lifeway kefir (See Notes)
  • 1/3 cup 2% organic milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum or guar gum
  • 1/2 cup Crisco vegetable oil


  • Preheat oven to 315 degrees F.
  • Line the mini cupcake or muffin tin with cupcake baking cups; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the oat flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda and xanthan gum.  Mix (using a whisk) until well-combined.
  • In a large measuring cup or a bowl, combine the coffee, kefir, milk, oil, and vanilla extract; set aside.
  • In a stand mixer bowl, cream the eggs and sugar in low speed (#1).
  • Slowly add half of the flour mixture and coffee mixture.  Beat until just combine. Add the rest of the flour and coffee mixture and beat in low speed until well-combined stopping from time to time to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • Add the melted chocolates and beat until just combine. Do not overbeat.
  • Using a measuring tablespoon, scoop a tablespoonful of the batter and fill 24 of the mini cupcake baking cups.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes (See Notes)
  • For larger cupcakes, using an ice cream scooper, scoop the remaining batter and fill 2/3 of the large cupcake baking cups.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 15-17 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not over baked.
  • Let cool completely in the baking tin before removing them as these cupcakes are very moist.
  • Frost with chocolate ganache or your favorite frosting.
  • Enjoy with your favorite drink!


  • This recipe yields 14-15 regular cupcakes and 24 mini cupcakes.
  • I baked the mini cupcakes exactly 13 minutes and 17 minutes for the larger ones.  Since all ovens varies, adjust accordingly.
  • You can use buttermilk instead of kefir, but since Kefir has thicker consistency than buttermilk, make the necessary adjustments.
  • These cupcakes are super moist. I waited at least an hour before I removed them from the baking tin. You will need a knife to help you remove them.


  • 1/2 cup Newman’s Own Organic Virgin Lemonade
  • 1/2 cup Langers Mango Nectar (available at Costco)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Granny Smith Apple slices
  • ice cubes

Place the ice cubes in a tall glass.  Arrange the apple slices in the glass.  Combine the lemonade, mango nectar, and freshly squeezed lemon juice in a shaker. Shake vigorously and pour into the glass with ice cubes.  If you are mixing it in a jug, combine all ingredients and stir well.  Serve immediately.


  • Don’t let the ice cubes melt before serving.  It will watered-down the mixture.  Serving it immediately is highly recommended.
  • You can also mix all ingredients in a jug and wait for the guest to arrive before you add the ice cubes.
  • A good alternative to this is you can also puree some fresh mangoes and mix it with freshly squeezed lemon juice; add some water and sweeten it with agave or your favorite sweetener. I will definitely try to make this when I have the time.

Thank you so much for stopping by today.  It has been quite a hectic spring.  I hope you are enjoying it.  Summer will be here soon and the Mango Lemonade will be a refreshing drink to have come summer time. Save it.  If this is your first time to visit my blog, don’t forget to Subscribe or Follow to get the latest recipes. Please be kind and mention my blog or link back to source if you plan to use or share any of my recipes. Thank you and God bless!  Until next time. 🙂


No-Bake Mango Delight

Hello! Thank you.  I’m glad you stopped by because today is your lucky day. 🙂

“Never judge a book by its cover” the saying goes.  This dessert may look mundane, but wait until you try it.  You are going to hate me for creating this recipe.  There is nothing like it out there.  This delectable dessert is out of this world. Literally!  One bite and  I was sold.  I must have heard fireworks and the oohs and aahs. 🙂  This my friend is one of those treats that would  make you throttle someone if she/he comes between you and your share.  It’s just too delicious.  You can’t stop eating it.  The best tropical sweet treat anyone can have.  There is no artificial mango flavoring added.  There’s (fresh) mango in every bite.  Definitely a MUST try.


My children asked me to bake  them a cake this morning; something “refreshing and sweet”.   They wanted “something else” besides the usual chocolate cake .  I wasn’t planning on being in the kitchen today, but since I didn’t have anything else for them (out of the papaya slush) , I had to make one.  I was looking at the mangoes I purchased yesterday and I knew exactly what to do with them.  It will be a good excuse to use the mascarpone cheese before it expires.  Did I have a whipping cream?  Checked.  Butter?  Checked.  Graham crackers or Ritz crackers?  Nope.  Okay, I couldn’t make it today ( So, I thought).  Then, I went to the formal dinning room and there! The butter cookie container was sitting on top of the table.  Aha!  The kids have been eating them.  I opened the can and there was about a quarter of cookies left.  I found the perfect crust for my mango recipe.


This mango delight is layered with butter cookie crumbs, mango puree and mascarpone mixture, whipped cream mixed with a surprise ingredient , and naturally sweet  diced fresh mango.  The extra steps are what makes this treat sinfully delicious.  You will thank yourself for making it.  This would definitely make your potluck or party desserts list.  🙂


Okay, you get the idea.  Let’s make it so you can devour a piece (or more) and stop drooling. 🙂    You need to gather all the ingredients before you start making it to prevent mishap.  This recipe yields 9-12 servings.

Note: You can add mango extract to enhance the flavor if you prefer, but this recipe is perfect without it. 

For the crust:

  • 22 butter cookies
  •  2 tablespoons melted butter


  1. If you don’t have a food processor, place the cookies in a Ziploc bag and pound until  you have very fine crumbs.  Add the melted butter and mix with a spoon.  If you are using a food processor, process until all the cookies are very fine.  Add the melted butter and pulse until well-combined.
  2. Transfer the crumb mixture into a square (8″ x 8″) glass baking dish.
  3. Using a dry measuring cup, press down making sure the crumb mixture is evenly distributed and covered the bottom of the baking dish; set aside.

Prep the Mango

You will need 3 large, very ripe Manila mangoes, divided


  1. Wash and slice the three mangoes.  Set aside the seeds.  You can eat the flesh off them later. 🙂  You should have a total of 6 half mangoes.
  2. Dice 4 of the half mangoes and place on a plate; set aside.
  3.   Scoop the flesh of the remaining mangoes and place in  a blender.  Puree it and set aside.

Tip:  For easy and faster way of dicing the mangoes, carefully cut the mango flesh with a knife horizontally then cut vertically without cutting through the skin.  See photos above.

Prepare the first layer:


  • Mango puree
  • 6 oz. (3/4 of the container) Belgioioso Mascarpone or cream cheese at room temperature (a must)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk


  1. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, add butter and beat in high speed until smooth.  Turn off the mixer. Scrape the sides and bottom and beat again in medium-high speed for 10 seconds.
  2. Add the mascarpone cheese and beat in the lowest speed just until combined. (If you are using cream cheese, beat in high speed until smooth and well-combined.
  3. Add the mango puree and condensed milk.  Beat in low speed until well-combined. Turn off the mixer.
  4. Using a spatula, smooth the lumps (if there’s any. If none, skip this step) in the mixture by pressing down and folding to combined.
  5. Replace the bowl in a stand mixer and add about a little over 1/4 cup of the diced mango.  Beat for 10 seconds.
  6. Pour the mixture in the prepared baking dish.

Prepare the whipped cream topping (2nd layer)


  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • zest of 1 large orange
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 cup of condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • remaining mascarpone cheese or cream cheese


  1. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, add the cream, condensed milk and vanilla extract.  Gradually beat in low to medium speed  until frothy about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and gradually increase the speed.  Continue to beat until stiff peak forms. Do not over beat.
  3. Add the mascarpone or cream cheese and the orange zest.  Beat until just combined.
  4. Add the whipped cream mixture on top of the mango mixture.
  5. Add the remaining diced mangoes on top of the whipped cream mixture.
  6. Refrigerate at least an hour and a half before you cut ( i cut a piece at 45 minutes mark and it was still soft.  See photo below).
  7. If you have any leftover, refrigerate overnight and leave at room temperature(about 15 minutes) before serving.

IMG_20140306_122349_269Note:  I found the best way to serve this heavenly dessert is to cut it and place on individual plates and refrigerate for 3 hours.  It’s to die for!!!

If you like this recipe, don’t forget to Subscribe or Follow to get the latest recipes.   There are more original recipes coming your way.  However, please be kind and link back to source when you use or share any of my recipes.  Thank you for stopping by.  Until next time.  Have a fantastic weekend!

© (2014)   Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material herein without expressed and written consent from this blog’s author, Annabelle Bedell, is strictly and completely prohibited.


Skillet Grilled Shrimp with Tropical Couscous

My husband took me out to dinner to celebrate our wedding anniversary.  I wanted to go to Bone Fish Grill because their snapper was excellent.   I didn’t want to go someplace else because the food might not be as good and I didn’t want to be disappointed, especially on a special day.  Well, my husband told me that someone recommended this place in Tyson’s Corner.  He convinced me that their food was great and that they were highly recommended by many, so I said okay.  Well, I was very disappointed to say the least.  Let me just say, I will never go back there again.  I conclude good food is not define by how  “upscale” a restaurant is.  It really depends.

When I couldn’t eat what I want, I can’t sleep.  I know I’m weird that way.   So,  the following night, I made my husband and I skillet grilled shrimp on skewers with tropical  couscous for dinner.  I also added some toasted garlic on top of the couscous and shrimp.  It was very delicious and so satisfying.

Ingredients for the shrimp:

  • 16 pieces large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail on
  • Weber N’ Orleans Cajun Seasoning
  • Weber Gourmet Burger Seasoning
  • Weber Roasted Garlic and Herb Seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced garlic
  • 4- size 8 Bamboo skewers


  1. Skewer the shrimp.
  2. Sprinkle the shrimp with these three seasonings. Set aside.
  3. Heat a flat, square skillet (pancake skillet) over medium heat.
  4. Coat with olive oil and butter.
  5. Add the garlic and saute until lightly brown.  Set aside on the edge of the skillet to prevent it from burning.
  6. Turn the heat to medium-low at this point and grill the shrimp until opaque, about 5 minutes each side.
  7. Meanwhile cook the couscous.

Ingredients for the couscous:

  • 1 box(5.08 oz.) Near East Couscous with roasted garlic and olive oil plus the ingredients written on the box
  • 1/2 cup of diced mango
  • 1/2 cup pineapple tidbits
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup plum tomatoes; seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup of diced red onions
  • black pepper to taste
  • juice of 1 lime plus more for garnish
  • Toasted garlic (from above recipe)


  • Follow the cooking directions on the box to cook the couscous.
  • Combine the mango, pineapple, cilantro, tomatoes, red onions, lime, and black pepper in a bowl.
  • Add the tropical fruit mixture to the cooked couscous.
  • Mix until all ingredients are well combined.
  • Arrange shrimp and couscous on a plate. Garnish with lime and toasted  garlic.

Bon Appetite!

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© (2013)   Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material herein without expressed and written consent from this blog’s author, Annabelle Bedell, is strictly and completely prohibited.


The Ultimate Hot Chocolate Oatmeal

Chocolate lovers, you would want to add this to your recipe collection.  Oh, so good!

I’ve been reminiscing about my childhood lately and I can’t help but think about my parents, especially my mother.  I am so grateful for her perseverance with teaching my siblings and I how to cook and be responsible.  As a child, I just wanted to play with my  friends.  My mother was resolute when it came to teaching and discipline.

A mother’s cooking is special because it will stay in a child’s memory for the rest of her life.  It’s breakfast time and I was thinking about what to eat, preferably something that will give me that “pick me up”  feeling.  I remember my mother made this delicious chocolate oatmeal.  I was craving it, so I decided to make my own version using the Godiva hot cocoa that my friend gave me or the Ghirardelli premium hot cocoa chocolate mocha flavor.  Mmm…

You have probably tried everything there is for breakfast, right?  Well, you haven’t tried this.



  • 1 packet (1.58 oz.) of instant Quaker Weight Control Banana Bread oatmeal (has 7 g protein, 6 g fiber, 1 g sugar) or an oatmeal of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon Godiva hot cocoa or Ghirardelli premium hot cocoa chocolate mocha flavor
  • 1 cup water
  • Fried plantain
  • Fresh mango cubes
  • Toasted coconut
  • 1 oz. Ghirardelli dark chocolate, melted


  1. Add water to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Add the Godiva hot cocoa or Ghiradelli premium hot cocoa chocolate mocha and oatmeal. Stir.
  3. Cook for 2 -3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Serve in a bowl with the mango and plantain.
  5. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and drizzle with the melted dark chocolate.  Serve immediately.


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© (2013)   Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material herein without expressed and written consent from this blog’s author, Annabelle Bedell, is strictly and completely prohibited.



Mango Cake

I took a cake decorating class because I wanted to bake and design my own cake. I also want to try different flavors of frosting in addition to chocolate and buttercream.  It really comes in handy on special occasions because there is something special about a  homemade cake rather than buying it somewhere else.  One thing I like about making my own cake is, I can adjust the sweetness.  I am not crazy about a cake that is overly sweet. It ruins a good perfect cake in my opinion.  I want my cake to be just right.

I have been so busy lately that I neglected to bake a cake for our anniversary.  My husband and I normally go out to eat and have a cake I made afterwards, but it didn’t happen this year and I felt guilty.  So, I had to make up for it and baked one today and have it for our dessert tonight.  Better late than never, right?

My husband prefers lemon flavor cake.  But he also likes coconut and mango.  He hasn’t tried mango flavor yet, so I decided to bake a mango cake.  He is in for a surprise.

While I was baking the mango cake, my children got very excited because I made a cake made with one of their favorite fruits, mango!


When I took it out from the oven, my oldest son wanted to eat the cake immediately.  Well, he settled for the top of the cake when I trimmed the cake to be iced.   Anyway, it’s in the fridge and waiting to be devoured.  I am definitely going to eat a piece  tonight.

Here’s the finish cake!  Mango cake frosted with Dulce De Leches icing. Happy Anniversary!


This cake is dense.  It is best serve in room temperature, not cold.  If you make it ahead of time and it’s been in the refrigerator for a while, you need to take it out from the fridge and let it set in room temperature for at least an hour or two before serving it to your guests. Yes, that’s the secret of this mango cake.  I didn’t want a large cake, so I used two 6-inch  pans.   Don’t use all the batter, otherwise it will overflow.  Fill the pans 3/4 full of the batter and use the rest for cupcakes.  That’s what I did.  The remaining batter was only good for two to three cupcakes.  Here’s a picture of  the Mango cupcake using the same icing decorated with sugar flower I also made.

You want a bite?  Mmm..good!

I know you have been waiting for the recipe, so here it is.


  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup mango puree mixed with 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 stick butter, melted and cooled a little bit
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mango essence
  • 1/2 cup Evaporated milk
  • Flesh of 1 large ripe manila mango; diced


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray two 6-inch round pan with baking spray with flour generously.
  3. Sift and whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.  Set aside.
  4. In a stand mixer, combine the eggs and sugar. Beat until well combined.  Add the vanilla, mango essence, mango puree, butter and milk.
  5. Beat in low or first speed until well combined about 30 seconds.
  6. Add the flour slowly.  Beat in low or first speed until well combined.  Continue to beat until smooth about 2 minutes.  Do not over beat or you will end up with a chewy cake.
  7. Pour batter into the pan and spread evenly with a spatula.
  8. Spread the mango pieces on top of the batter and press down with a spatula or you can fold it in.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  10. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool for 30-45 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the pan before removing from the pan.

Dulce De Leches Frosting

Look at how fluffy and smooth the icing is. Delicious!


  • 1 1/2 lb. cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 can condensed milk  ( about 7 fluid oz.)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp. whipping cream


  1. In a stand mixer with a paddle, beat cream cheese and butter together in high speed until smooth.
  2. Add the whipping cream 1 tablespoon at a time and continue to beat until well combined.
  3. Turn the mixer off and add the condensed milk.  Beat in low speed then gradually increase the speed to medium. Beat until creamy.
  4. Turn the mixer off and add the powdered sugar.  Beat in low speed until all sugar is incorporated then gradually turn the speed to high and beat until smooth and creamy like the one in the picture.


You can add some mango pieces in the icing and use the icing as a cake or cupcake filling.  You can also add 1/8 cup mango puree and 1 teaspoon mango essence omitting the whipping cream to make it a Mango frosting for your cakes and cupcakes.


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© (2013)   Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material herein without expressed and written consent from this blog’s author, Annabelle Bedell, is strictly and completely prohibited.