The Baker’s Jar

BakersJarSmallWe all know that I. love. cake. It’s just a known fact. So when I heard that Avery Goldman was opening up a shop called The Baker’s Jar, I knew that I’d have to stop by and try out a few flavors. I love to support local businesses and see them thrive. There are way too many chain stores that are coming into the city and trying to take over.  The shop just opened its doors in early 2014. It’s a nice, bright little shop in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood in Philadelphia.

The Baker’s Jar is located at 625 S16th St. Philadelphia, PA (16th & Bainbridge).

I looked at the web site before going, and I saw a few flavors that I wanted to try.  I LOVE Birthday Cake so I knew that I had to get the Happy Birthday Cake jar. It’s a vanilla cake filled with sprinkles and topped with vanilla frosting.


However, I was a bit disappointed that they don’t sell the Happy Birthday Cake in the standard-sized jar, even though it’s pictured on the web site in a standard-sized jar.  It’s only available in the mini-sized jar. She said this was because that’s a popular kid’s flavor and she wanted something small for them. If you ask me, I think it should be offered in both the mini-sized and standard-sized jar. Why not make both the kids AND the adults happy?  I know, I know. You’re probably saying out loud “But Jen, it’s really not that big of a deal!” And it’s not. But I’m just sharing my opinion as I usually do here on my blog. Especially when it has to do with CAKE!

Mud CupAs we know, Mr. Curly Fry is a chocolate guy. He loves all chocolate. So while regular white cake and vanilla frosting is one of my favorite cake flavors, his is chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. I was bummed that there wasn’t a regular chocolate cake with chocolate frosting jar. There’s the Ooey Gooey Chocolate Cake, but it also has caramel in it and he’s not really a caramel fan. So that eliminates that flavor. There was a Brownie Jar, but it was Dulce de Leche Brownie, so that eliminates that one for him as well. She has a Chocolate Bread Pudding, but we’re not bread pudding fans. So all that really left for him was the Mud Cup.  I wasn’t too jazzed about this flavor, which is Chocolate Pudding mixed with Chocolate Cake…with a worm or two in there. I’m just hoping that he likes it.



I love Carrot Cake, so I picked up the Ruby’s Carrot Cake jar. It’s a moist carrot cake spiced just right and topped with cream cheese frosting and a pecan.  Mr. Curly Fry isn’t into Carrot Cake so I get to have this whole standard-sized jar all to myself!

Carrot Cake Jar

Last but not least, I picked up the Lemon Pie Jar. This is the perfect balance of tart and sweet topped with a blueberry compote. I love lemon flavored things so I hope this is good!


I was hoping to try the Apple Crumb Jar and Mom’s Banana Cake, but they weren’t available.

I think this The Baker’s Jar is a really cool concept, but I just wish that there was more variety. There are so many more flavors that can be offered. The possibilities are endless. I think adding more flavors would do nothing but good things for this shop.

Stay tuned later this week to see what we thought of these little jars of goodness!

Mini Honey Crisp Apple Pies {Fall Favorite}

Mini Honey Crisp Apple Crumb Pies

I love fall. Here in Philly we had a taste of fall for about a week or so and then it got warm again! What gives? We had a cold front come through and the weather should be more seasonal now, which I’m happy about. One thing I love about fall: Apples! My favorite kind of apple? Honey Crisp! They are amazing and I’ve been a fan ever since I tasted one years and years ago.

There’s a Farmer’s Market right outside of my apartment building every Saturday and they have the BEST Honey Crisp Apple Sauce. It’s so good. We go through jars and jars of it.

I wanted to take a break from making Cupcakes, so I decided to make some Mini Honey Crisp Apple Crumb Pies. They were super easy and delicious! I will say that they are definitely better the same day that you make them. They are best served warm out of the oven.

These are the Nonstick Mini Round Tart Pans that I used.


For the Apples:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 honey crisp apples chopped into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider

For the Topping:

  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (you can use more or less)

Puff Pastry Dough


Toss the chopped up apples in a bowl with the flour and apple pie spice.

Melt butter in a small sauce pan on medium low heat. Add the apples and brown sugar and let the apples cook down for about 10 minutes or so. You don’t want them to be too soft, you want them to have a little bite to them.

Bump the heat up to medium and add in two tablespoons of apple cider. You don’t want it to be a soupy mess – you want there to be just enough so that it’s a bit saucy. Once it thickens a bit, remove from the heat and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Lay your (thawed) Puff Pastry Dough on a cutting board. You want to cut out a circle a little larger than your Mini Tart Pan. Take the circle of dough and push it into your mini tart pans. Cut off the excess dough at the top.

Spoon some of your Apples into the mini tart pan.

Honey Crisp Apple Crumb Pie
You can see how much filling I added. Don’t put too much because you still have a topping to throw on top!

To make the topping:

Mix the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut the butter into the flour/brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. Do this until it’s nice and crumbly! You don’t want big chunks of butter.

Top each Mini Apple Pie with the crumb topping and push down lightly to make sure it gets down into all of the little holes.

Bake for about 15 minutes and enjoy!

Yield: 4 Mini Tarts.



I had mine with some amazing Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream. A perfect fall treat!

Homemade Funfetti Cake


There aren’t many people that I’ve met that don’t love sprinkles. Of course there are a few that don’t like sprinkles, because ya know, there’s always at least one, lol! I’ll never understand it, because I love them. Growing up in Philadelphia, if we got an ice cream cone with sprinkles we always called them Jimmies. It’s just what you said. I don’t think people from other cities get it, but that’s okay. We’re a little different around here. ;)

Now it’s no secret that I like boxed caked mix better than cake from scratch. I was actually in my kitchen cabinet the other day and I saw a box of Funfetti cake mix and said to myself “I could really go for a piece of Funfetti cake right now!” But I decided to make it from scratch instead of from the box…just because I felt like it. So that’s exactly what I did.




Now I wanted a double layer cake, so I just doubled the recipe.  The recipe over at Sally’s Baking Addiction is just for a one layer cake. So if you want a double layer you will have to double both the cake and frosting recipes.

Click here for the Homemade Funfetti Cake Recipe!


Now normally I always use Penzeys Double Strength Vanilla, but for this cake I used Vanilla Bean Crush. It’s a blend of intensely flavored Madagascar Bourbon and Tahitian vanilla beans.  I received it as a gift and now I’m a huge fan of this stuff.  I love that it’s flecked with finely crushed vanilla beans and vanilla bean seeds.  So if you closely you can really see the little specks of vanilla bean. The flavor it brings is amazing as well.
I thought this Funfetti Cake was pretty good, but I still love boxed cake more. :) But if I was making another Funfetti Cake from scratch I’d use this recipe again. I thought that it was even better on the second day!

Lemon Cream Cheese Squares with Shortbread Crust

LemonFluffBiteWhen I was in Disney World for Food Blog Forum last month we got a huge bag full of goodies to bring home. One of the things in that bag was some Duchy Original Highland Shortbread Cookies. Now, I’ve had shortbread cookies before, but oh my goodness, these were the best ones I’ve ever had. Seriously. And once I saw that they have Duchy Original Lemon Shortbread Cookies I knew my life had changed forever. The folks at Duchy USA were kind enough to send me a couple of boxes so that I could whip up a fun dessert for you guys!  After making these squares I promptly went online and order a case of the Lemon Shortbread Cookies! I’m hooked!

In my family we have a recipe for something called Lemon Fluff  that I adore. My Mom used to make it for special occasions and I always had some whenever possible. It was so good you could even find me eating it for breakfast – no joke. So when I got my hands on these Lemon Shortbread Cookies I knew I wanted to make something similar to that but with a few twists.

So this recipe is made and put together in steps. The LEM will need a couple of hours to cool, so you should make that a few hours before you plan to put this together. You will also want the crust to cool completely. But once you have those things done you can easily put this together and throw it in the fridge. Then you’ll spend the rest of the day counting down the minutes until you can eat some!


Lemon Cream Cheese Squares with Shortbread Crust


Combine the cookie crumbs (I used my VitaMix!) and the melted butter until thoroughly combined.

Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper. Press the cookie crumbs into the bottom of the pan.

Do not go up the sides.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes, or until the edges start to lightly brown. Set aside and cool.

Cream Cheese Layer:

  • 2 blocks of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Using an electric mixture, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar together until combined.


Empty the contents of the package into a saucepan. Add one cup of sugar and 1/2 cup water. Mix until smooth. Add 2 cups of water. Cook in saucepan over low flame (stirring constantly) until contents start to boil and gelatin capsule breaks. Crush capsule if necessary as it contains the pure, natural oil of lemon kept fresh.

Let the filling cool.

Once the crust and filling are both cool, you can assemble the dessert. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the crust. Add the LEM mixture on top, and smooth it all out.

Refrigerate for at least 6 hours (you want it to be cold!) before serving. Serve with some freshly whipped cream dolloped on top. Sprinkle with Lemon Shortbread Cookie Crumbs, if you please.


Cool Whip or Dream Whip can be used in place of the freshly whipped cream.

This dessert is definitely going into my recipe box – I loved the flavor that the Lemon Shortbread Cookies gave the crust. I think it did a wonderful job of tying together the lemon flavor.

I bought a case of the Lemon Shortbread Cookies so stay tuned for some more fun desserts!

Insomnia Cookies – Center City Philadelphia

A while ago Mr. Curly Fry’s brother told us that we have to try Insomnia Cookies. That they’re really good and that we would love them. So I looked them up and at the time they only had locations in West Philly and one out near Temple. I’m willing to travel distances for cupcakes, but not cookies. So I kind of forgot about them and went on about my business.

Fast forward to yesterday. I saw something on about this new Insomnia Cookies store that opened up in Center City. I was intrigued. So I looked up the location and what do you know?! They are located not even a full block from my office. Uh oh. This could get dangerous! So I knew that I’d have to make a pit stop on my way home from work to pick up some cookies. How could I not? As I was walking down the street I could literally start to smell the cookies. So I followed the scent of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and I ended up in their store!

[Read more...]