Pirate Kitchen

Walnut Cake

Baking, Cakes, Desserts | March 28, 2012 | By

Walnut Cake with Whipped Cream and Turbinado Sugar

When I read about this cake in Bon Appetit, it didn’t look like much, kind of like blondies, but the list of ingredients got me hooked, screamed cake at me and my mouth positively watered. A big part of what I love about cooking and baking is reading. I’ve always loved to read and get the biggest thrill (read geek) from reading recipes.


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Key Lime Mousse Cake

Cakes, Desserts, General, Holiday | November 20, 2011 | By


Key Lime Mousse Pie

We celebrated a special birthday this weekend – our puppy Max turned 3. In what seemed like 3 seconds he went from this

Max and Mommy

to this.

Max and Fence

<sigh>They grow up so fast. For his birthday celebration I tried a new dessert recipe (for the human-types) that I will make again for Thanksgiving because it’s fast and easy and looks wonderful. It’s a cross between a cheesecake and frozen pie because a) it’s made in a springform pan and has cream cheese in it and b) there’s no baking involved. Did you hear that? The result is a rich, creamy lime-cheesecake-type dessert. I did make the candied lime peel seen in the photo, but next time I think I will just sliver the lime peel and sprinkle on top with the white chocolate – easier and greener. Oh, I made extra whipped cream for Max. He loved every last drop.


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Killer Birthday Cake

Baking, Cakes, Chocolate, Desserts, General | October 26, 2010 | By

Killer Birthday Cake

A very special birthday requires a very special cake and Killer Cake was definitely it. It was Rob’s (the LOML) birthday and this cake is way over the top:  dense and slightly chewy and chocolaty. I got started and melted the butter and chocolate in a double boiler


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Max and the Great Butter Escapade

Baking, Cakes, Desserts, General | June 19, 2010 | By

Coffee Cake on Mackenzie Childs

Cheater Coffee Cake

This is what happened on my way to writing about a recipe:  Max.  Max happened.  Max is our year-and-a-half old lab/husky puppy.  Did I mention that he’s 100 pounds?  100 pounds of pure exuberance, joy and happiness.  He’s so happy he can hurt you, but in this case, he hurt (or rather, ate) a pound of butter.

Max Loves Butter II

Max Loves Butter II

It was my fault.  I left the butter out to soften for baking and Max…well, the rest is the usual foregone conclusion.  The good news is , he loved it.  The bad (if there really is bad news just depends on how you look at it):  he LOVED one whole pound of the most-perfectly-softened-for-baking unsalted butter.  You know when it’s so perfectly softened you can see a slight indentation in the top of the stick, the wrapper shimmer, and there’s that whiff of butter fat in the air?  You know what I’m talking about.  There wasn’t a wrapper, blob or even smear left.  But oh the look on his face:  pure exuberance, joy and happiness.

Max the dog licking his lips

Butter Eater

Once I recovered with another pound of butter, I set about making this cake.  Let me tell something about this particular coffee cake:  it rocks.   The cake is made from a box cake mix and the crumb topping proudly boasts a pound (yes, pound) of butter in its list of ingredients.  This is a definite go-to recipe if you need to whip something up for work, house guests or if you’re just plain old in the mood for a scrumptious, unbelievably easy to make coffee cake.  My family loves it and recently it was my stepson’s birthday cake.  This would definitely make it to the Paula Deen butter lover’s hall-of-fame.  I love making cakes from scratch, but with this recipe there’s really no need.  It falls under the heading, “Why Fix It If It Ain’t Broken”.

Cheater Coffee Cake
The cheating part is our secret!
Can serve about 8 depending upon how much the baker (or dog) eats first!



  • 1 box Betty Crocker Butter Recipe Yellow cake mix (any yellow box cake mix will do, but there is yet another stick of butter (!) needed for this brand)


  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tsps. cinnamon
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 lb (4 sticks) melted butter (yes, 1 POUND)
  • confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter the (bottom only if glass, bottom and sides of all other pans) of a 13″x9″ pan.  Follow the instructions on the cake mix box and mix as directed.  Bake slightly under the time recommended on the box – until it is slightly firm, 20-25 minutes.  The cake will go back in the oven when the topping is added (after the next step) for another 15-20 minutes.

While the cake is baking:

Combine the topping ingredients in a large bowl and mix by hand.

Remove the cake from the oven.  Scoop large chunks of topping mix, by hand, and crumble over the top of the cake.  This is the fun part and you get to eat chunks of it and lick your fingers – yum.  Cover the entire surface of the cake – there’s plenty to cover and then start to pile on top.  Put the cake back in the oven for another 15 – 20 minutes to slightly brown the topping.  Cool and dust with confectioner’s sugar.

Credit: Recipe courtesy of a former co-worker’s daughter who has no idea where she got it.

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