- Contest Closed -

Strawberry Sconecake // take a megabite

My favorite summer-time memory, growing up, was when my mom would make strawberry shortcake for dinner. She would make it cake-style. She’d bake up a giant round biscuit and slice it down the center. She’d fill it with juicy strawberries and whipped cream. We’d each get a giant slice served up in a bowl for dinner! This might be a giant reason why I love this dessert so much, ya know? I keep making versions of it! (Lemon poppy seed, chocolate, sorbet-style, s’mores, apple cinnamon, and more probably!)

Strawberry Sconecake // take a megabite

I took my mom’s summer dream dinner and brunch-ified it. Instead of her go-to shortcake, I opted for two 6-inch strawberry scones and placed sweetened yogurt and berries between the layers. It’s a summer breakfast shortcake cream! Hey mom, I see your dessert-dinner and I raise you brunch.

In order to make this sconecake super easy on you guys, I’d recommend making the sconecakes the day before and assembling it quickly the morning you’re serving it. Then you don’t have to worry about being impatient about cooling (I get totally impatient) and assembly takes barely any time at all, so it’ll be ready to serve in no time.  You can also bake this as a single 9-inch cake layer (for 10 or so more minutes) and then slice the cooled sconecake down the center to fill with yogurt and berries

Strawberry Sconecake // take a megabite

GIVEAWAY: So, I really want you guys to get your Strawberry Shortcake on. So much so that I’ve got a giveaway for one lucky winner! All you have to do is comment telling me one happy thing about your day, and you’ll be entered to win $100 worth of coupons for Driscoll’s berries. And please promise that if you win, you’ll make strawberry shortcake for dinner, ok?

For another chance to win, “like” me on Facebook and then pop back over and leave another comment letting me know.

Contest will close in one week, on Monday, June 23 at 6pm (EST). Winner is below:

Jenna won!

Jenna from Just J. Faye who loves pedicures and peach crisp won a berry fun prize! Keep an eye out for an e-mail from me, and congratulations!

Strawberry Sconecake
(makes one two-layer 6-inch cake)


sconecake -

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ lb. strawberries, chopped (1/2 a package)

filling -

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 lb. strawberries, quartered* (1/2 a package)

*Reserve the cutest ones to top the sconecake.


  1. Make sconecake. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line the bottoms of two 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the milk, egg and vanilla, set aside. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. Rub butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender or your hands. Work until you have no lumps bigger than a pea. Add the sugar and strawberries. Toss to mix. Add milk mixture to the dry ingredients. Bring dough together gently with a wooden spoon. Fold together using a spatula and knead it in the bowl, turning it onto itself about 12 times.
  3. Divide between prepared cake pans. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and the top center is set. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. Make filling. Whisk yogurt, and honey together. Place between cake layers with sliced strawberries. Top with additional cute berries. Slice and serve for brunch.

Click HERE for a printable pdf of the recipe above.

For more fun shortcakes click HERE.

Strawberry Sconecake // take a megabite

Paid endorsement from Drisoll’s – Visit www.driscolls.com for more berry recipes and to enter their summer sweepstakes.

While this is true, all opinions above are my own. I truly love Driscoll’s berries and bake/eat them all the time. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that help make this blog of mine possible.


Cinnamon Spice T-rex Cookies

by Megan on June 10, 2014

Cinnamon Spice T-Rex Cookies  // take a megabite

Sometimes I get the coolest vintage cookie cutters around the same time I’m introduced to T-Rex. So this totally turned into the perfect time to transform dinosaur cookie cutters into song references, ya know? Talk bubbles, dinosaurs, and flowers. No big deal. I should’ve been listening to T-Rex sooner, but ya know, we can’t live life by what we should’ve done. Like yesterday I took two of the wrong trains to get back to my friends’ house. (I’m visiting San Francisco!) I should’ve taken the right train, ya know? BUT if I wouldn’t have taken two wrong trains then there’s no way that I would’ve gotten off the train and been at the intersection at the exact time a Shiba Inu was being walked. I feel pretty lucky about it.

Cinnamon Spice T-Rex Cookies  // take a megabite

So just know that these cookies don’t even need frosting. They are cool with chocolate letters and stuff, but they don’t need anything. They’re soft and dreamy.

Honestly, the more I think about it, these could be the perfect ice cream sandwich cookie. Maybe with a super dark chocolate? Maybe with cinnamon or coffee ice cream? But mostly, they are tasty, and spiced like a dream. So bake them up on a night you feel overwhelmed. Listen to music while you preheat the oven and cut out cookies and bake them because the truth is, you probably have all the ingredients to make these right this second.

Cinnamon Spice T-Rex Cookies  // take a megabite

Cinnamon Spice T-rex Cookies (makes about 2 dozen)


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon*
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 1/8 t ground ginger
  • 1/8 t allspice
  • pinch of cloves
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 t vanilla extract

*Feel free to use more cinnamon and less other spices. Follow your heart.


  1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and spices in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl using an electric hand mixer) beat the sugar, brown sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Blend in the egg and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm, 30-60 minutes. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out using your favorite cookie cutter. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool for a couple minutes on the baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Write T-Rex song titles in chocolate whever you see fit.

Yay! Click HERE for a printable pdf of the recipe above.

Insta-living // take a megabite

I painted my nails this color // I went to a wedding that was really fun!
Was this tiki drink a mistake? // I love this pup


Lunchbox Polenta Quiche // take a megabite

Sometimes I think of life in a between-haircuts way. Like, ok, I just got my hair cut shorter and I don’t have to go back until August or September. What will be happening then?! How will things be? Will I still be painting hearts on my nails? Probably. Will I have a better lunch appetite? Will I still be wearing floral leggings like twice a week and drinking 24 oz. beers on patios and stress-texting my friends? Will I still have granola scattered around my desk at work? Will I still be eating quiche for breakfast and dinner and granola bars in between? Life is weird, but so much can change between haircuts.

Lunchbox Polenta Quiche // take a megabite

I do know that regardless of where I’m at in life, there will be quiche. And where there’s quiche there will be this polenta crust. I honestly like it better than any other quiche variety. I’m crazy about it! Making them mini is what’s up. (Also a new blog feature.) These are kinda the perfect breakfast situation. I like to carry one out to my picnic table with a tall glass of iced coffee. It’s a solid way to start the day. I might’ve bought a zucchini to put in these, but totally forgot about it. So feel free to switch it up veggie-style. Or just make it one big quiche like here or here.

Lunchbox Polenta Quiche // take a megabite

Feta and Asparagus Quiche Minis with a Polenta Crust (makes 7 minis)
Recipe adapted from The Bojon Gourmet via this post


polenta crust -

  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 1 cup polenta (or yellow corn grits)
  • 1 T unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large egg

filling -

  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 bunch asparagus, chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta
  • 7 cherry tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • scant 1/4 cup grated parmesan, plus more for sprinkling
  • 3 oz. crumbled feta
  • 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat your oven to 400F. Make the crust. Grease 7 mini pie pans or ramekins. Line with one rectangle of parchment paper for easy quiche removal.
  2. Bring water to a boil with salt. Add the polenta in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, until the polenta is very thick, about 10 minutes. OR if using quick cooking just whisk it into the hot water and it’ll thicken immediately. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, 1/2 cup parmesan, salt, pepper, and the egg. Divide between the mini pie pans/ramekins, and spread with a spatula to cool a bit. When cool enough to handle, use damp fingers to form the polenta up the sides for a crust.
  3. Toss  the sliced pepper and asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a foil lined baking sheet. Roast the pepper and asparagus and bake the crust at the same time for 20-30 minutes or until the pepper is roasted and the crust is dry.
  4. Sprinkle crust with parmesan, feta, roasted pepper, asparagus, and cherry tomatoes. Whisk together the Greek yogurt, egg, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour over the veggies. Sprinkle with some more parmesan, salt and pepper. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the custard is set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. Serve! Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.

YAY! Click HERE for a printable pdf of the recipe above.

Insta-living // take a megabite

RONIN forever // Dino clue // Pink dishes // quiche prep


Beet Brioche Burger Buns

by Megan on June 2, 2014

Beet Brioche Burger Buns // take a megabite

These buns are a burger clue. And for those of you who are anti-beet you’ll be all, “Thank god you can’t taste those earthy fuschia jerks.” Mostly (2nd clue alert) I needed a bright bun for a khaki burger to come. I know I’m not selling this future burger, but beware… it’s been called the Lady Gaga of burgers. It’s a punch in the face with flavor. It’s good. So… get ready for it later this month.

Beet Brioche Burger Buns // take a megabite

But mostly, tell me about your weekend, ok? Tell me the best part of it. These buns were a major highlight for me. I might start making ONLY pink food. It might be happening. These buns, making cold-brew coffee, sitting at my picnic table in the sun, getting a beer alone to take minute to sort my head out, talking on the phone with my BFF, and then just remembering to have faith in the universe kinda sum up my weekend. Tell me about your weekend!

Beet Brioche Burger Buns // take a megabite

Beet Brioche Burger Buns (16 slider buns)
Recipe adapted from these inspired by Club Narwhal


  • 1 small beet + olive oil
  • 5 T unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup milk, warm but not hot
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 package (2 t) active dry yeast
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 t salt
  • egg wash: 1 egg + 1 T water
  • poppy seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Rub olive oil over the beet and wrap in foil. Roast for 45-60 minutes or until soft. Puree with butter in a  food processor.
  2. Warm milk in microwave for 10 seconds spurts until warm, about 30 seconds total. Whisk in the honey and yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, beat one egg and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk flours with salt. Add beet butter and rub into flour between your fingers, making crumbs. Pour in the yeast mixture and beaten egg and stir until a soft dough forms. Scrape dough onto a clean, well-floured counter and knead, scooping dough up, slapping it on the counter and turning it, until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. The dough will be somewhat sticky, but keep in mind that the more flour you knead in, the tougher the buns will get. Try to leave them stickier than your average bread dough. (You can totally use a stand mixer with a dough hook for this too.)
  4. Shape dough into a ball. Place in a medium bowl sprayed with cooking spray, turning once to coat. Top with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.
  5. Line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper. Divide dough into 8 equal parts (4-ish oz. a piece) or into slider buns (1/5-2 oz). Gently roll each into a ball and arrange 2-3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Cover loosely with a piece of plastic wrap lightly coated in nonstick spray and let buns rise in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours.
  6. Set a large shallow pan of water on the oven floor. Preheat oven to 400° with rack in center. Beat remaining egg with 1 T water and brush some on top of buns. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if ya’ feel like it. Bake, rotating baking sheets halfway through baking, until tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes or 8-10 minutes for smaller buns. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Yay! Click HERE for a printable pdf of the recipe above.

insta-living // take a megabite

THIS BEER // My fave salad // this dough is magic // cold-brew?! 


sometimes + this and that (the sequel)

by Megan on May 29, 2014

Blueberry Moscow Mules // It's true! // take a megabite

Sometimes I infused a BUNCH of vodka with fruit, like nectarine/raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, and strawberry. Sometimes I have one of each flavor in a row in a Moscow Mule with a splash of St. Germaine and life is forever different. And finally Shiner Ruby Redbird is here with summer.


Infused Vodka // take a megabite

Sometimes all I want is to hang out in your backyard. Let’s just trade sunglasses and try to eat kabobs and mostly talk about vacation.

Breakfast Pop //  // take a megabite

Sometimes I make popsicles that can be breakfast. Sometimes and always I want them to be wearing horizontal stripes.

Rainbow radishes  // take a megabite

Sometimes I forget that I have Door to Door Organics on my porch. Sometimes there are radishes prettier than you can even believe possible.

Grilled Cheese Please // take a megabite

Sometimes I eat a giant burrito and think I’ll never be hungry again. And then somehow my stomach growls so I whip up a grilled cheese with brie, goat cheese, avocado, and prosciutto and stand in the kitchen with it.

hey! // take a megabite

Sometimes I make messy snacks for my job. Sometimes I spell messages just for you guys!

It's true! // take a megabite

And just know, above everything, that despite this humidity, your hair is on point.

P.S. I’ll be back with recipes next week!

P.P.S. I haven’t done a post like this in EXACTLY three years. So that’s weird. Everything is different!


One Big Cookie

by Megan on May 26, 2014

One Big Cookie // take a megabite

We get to have two Sundays this weekend! I think it’s great! I plan on wearing overall shorts, sitting in the sun, and drinking Moscow Mules. I might watch the Twin Peaks movie, or take a nap, or eat pizza, or go to a concert. I’m going to let the day surprise me.

And I’m glad that I have some of this giant cookie left on a day like this! You see I whipped up two of these so I could give one to Elliot’s vet as a Birthday Cookie Cake situation and then one to photograph to tell you guys about. Both got chocolate drizzle and sprinkles. Both have a cinnamon tan.

One Big Cookie // take a megabite

So mix up two of these while you’re at it! I think it’d be great stacked as a 2 layer cake, even! Maybe with chocolate fudge frosting? Maybe with chocolate letters on top? But maybe, for sure, you should make this no matter what. Freeze it for casual snacking. Grab a bag of them to give to the nicest dude you know. Grab a couple to give to your lady friend riding bikes. Leave them on the counter for your neighbor who let you use his fridge when yours was BROKEN.

But mostly, I hope you all have the best day! Read this even if you want and then just don’t bother giving up on love and go on vacation!

One Big Cookie // take a megabite

Cinnamon Blondies {makes about 16 blondies}
Recipe adapted from Sugarlaws + here


  • 1 1/3 all-purpose flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t cream of tartar
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • sprankles


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9″ round cake pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cream of tartar and salt. In another medium bowl using an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugars. When combined add the egg and vanilla and mix until blended together nicely.
  3. Add the flour mixture and stir until mixed completely. Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips. Spread batter in the bottom of the prepared pan, evening it with a spatula. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean when inserted in the center. Let the pan cool completely before lifting the bars out of the pan with the parchment paper. Drizzle with additional chocolate and top with sprinkles. Slice into wedges.

Yay! Click HERE for a printable pdf of the recipe above.

Insta-Living // take a megabite

I live in a pink and purple world. But, f’real, can you believe those radishes exist in nature?!



Cinnamini Rolls

by Megan on May 22, 2014

Cinnamini Rolls // take a megabite

You guys. I totally took cooler pictures of these and then deleted them off my camera like a real amateur. BUT let me tell you about them. I’ll paint word pictures. So for these guys, I simply halved my mom’s cinnamon roll recipe. And then I divided that dough in half again to make 2 dozen mini cinnamon rolls (a dozen for each half). I’m just going to say that I couldn’t have done that if I tried, but in my casual, sleepy-eyed, Saturday morning way I was able to cut exactly 12 rolls out of each half, and I was all “Whoa, Elliot check that out, man.”

Cinnamini Rolls // take a megabite

I used parchment squares like my girl over at The Fauxmartha. It makes it so easy to snatch a cinnamon roll for the drive to work, the walk to get coffee, or to pass out to your neighbor and his girlfriend, or to mostly just give to a hottie. BUT just know, that these rolls come together so quickly! Just one minor detail… make the dough the night before. It has to rise in the fridge for 8 hours, but in the morning, once they’re rolled out, it’s all wam-bam (30 minuter rise time) thank you, ma’am.

So make these for the next person who walks into your life loving cinnamon rolls. I promise, it’s a winner.

P.S. Unrelated… I keep listening to this song. Sad love, man. But it’s a good one anyhow.

Cinnamini Rolls // take a megabite

Mini Cinnamon Rolls (makes 24)
Recipe adapted from my mom’s recipe


proof that yeast -

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 t sugar
  • 1/2 pkg. active dry yeast

dough f’sho -

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter (cold is fine)
  • 1/2 cup boiling water + 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

roll up in it -

  • 1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, but more like a couple handfuls
  • generous amount of cinnamon


  1. In a small bowl, proof the yeast. Whisk together 1/4 cup warm water, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and 1/2 of a active dry yeast in a small bowl. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, until all puffy and bubbly. Now we have proof that yeast is working.
  2. In a large bowl stir together 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 t salt, 1/2 a stick of butter, 1/2 cup boiling water, 1/2 cup cold water and 1 egg. Stir until the butter is mostly melted. Add yeast water, and lastly add 3 1/2 cups of flour. Stir, stir, stir. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in the fridge for 8 eight hours, or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two dozen muffin cups with liners. I like to use parchment squares.
  4. Divide dough in half and roll into a rectangle, and about 1/4 inch thick. Spread evenly with a 2 tablespoons of softened butter using a spatula. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon and top that with a generous amount of brown sugar. Gently pat the brown sugar down into the dough a little. Roll up, slice into twelve equal pieces and divide among the muffin cups. Repeat with other half of dough. Cover with a towel and allow to rise in the pan for 30 minutes.
  5. Bake the rolls for 15-25 minutes, or until set and baked throughout. Allow to cool slightly. Frost.

Simple Vanilla Buttercream

  • 1 1/2 -2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 T milk


  1. Mix butter and powdered sugar until combined. Add vanilla and milk 1 Tablespoon at a time until a thick consistency. Top cinnamon rolls!

Yay! Click HERE for a printable pdf of the recipe above.

InstaLiving // take a megabite

I’ve gotten to a point in my adult life where I just want to drink in backyards and make words with food.


Roasted Strawberry Ice Pops

by Megan on May 19, 2014

Roasted Strawberry Ice Pop // take a megabite

The other day I popped into the zombie grocery store (if you went there you’d totally understand) and bought 2 lbs of strawberries because they were somehow $4? And (real talk) I’ve been the worst at letting fruit go bad lately. Herbs get wrankled and black in my tundra-fridge and I’ve been losing cheese in the back and forgetting about heavy cream. So, I had to get my life together and use up these berries in a respectful way, ya know?

Roasted Strawberry Ice Pop // take a megabite

I roasted ALL of the berries with some sugar and blended them up with vanilla, lemon and coconut milk. So these just happen to be vegan and they also happen to taste like pie and look like a lipstick color. They are an easy thing to whip up for casual summer snacking. I’d be wary to freeze these in juice glass though because my leftover business got stuck in there like you wouldn’t believe. I also shattered a glass all over one of these? (What am I saying?) So just rest at ease knowing I have 9 in my freezer despite two casualties and that you’ll love these if you make them!

P.S. My girl Cindy is Ice Pop Queen. Check out her round-up of 10 dreamy ones right HERE.

Roasted Strawberry Ice Pop // take a megabite

Roasted Strawberry Ice Pops (makes 10-12 pops)
Ice Pop recipe from my summer-lovin’ heart & inspired by Cindy always


  • 5 cups strawberries, quartered
  • 1/3 (kinda heaping) cup sugar
  • juice from 1 small lemon
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk


  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Roast berries with sugar for 24 minutes. Puree with lemon juice in a food processor or blender. Whisk in coconut milk and vanilla. Freeze in your ice pop mold overnight. Run mold under warm water to loosen. Enjoy at your leisure!

Yay! Click HERE for a printable pdf of the recipe above.

Insta-living // takeamegabite

Instagram liven’: Moscow Mules forever! Elliotto turned 9!
Baking and freezing berries!


Neapolitan Cake

by Megan on May 16, 2014

Neapolitan Cake // take a megabite

Yesterday I took Elliot to get ice cream because he turned 9 this week! And I’m not the kind of lady to let a fella eat ice cream alone… even though I had a piece of this cake earlier in the day. You see, it’s someone’s birthday somewhere, so why not have cake and ice cream in one day! Even if there are a few hours in between, right?

Neapolitan Cake // take a megabite

My mom visited last weekend! We ate pizza, coney dogs, and burgers. We were super American. She also brought me the Surprise-Inside Cakes cookbook! It’s totally the prettiest. And this cake caught my eye right away! So her and I whipped up the brownie layer, and strawberry cake layer Saturday night, then finished up the rest of the cake Sunday morning before brunch. It’s a BIG recipe and a BIG cake and might take two days if making at your leisure, but I promise it’s worth it. Adding sprinkles is a total game-changer. So make this for your mom or a hottie or in honor of your dog’s birthday and then eat it on your own!

Neapolitan Cake // take a megabite

Neapolitan Cake (one big 9-inch cake)
Recipe adapted from Surprise-Inside Cakes


brownie layer -

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 t kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate, chopped

strawberry cake layer -

  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature (separated)
  • 1 cup sugar, separated
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 t almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 t kosher salt
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 /3 cup strawberry puree (made from 1 cup berries, pureed with 1-2 tablespoons water)

chocolate buttercream -

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 T milk

swiss meringue buttercream -

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 t vanilla

semisweet magic shell -

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 T coconut oil


  1. Make brownie layer. Preheat oven to 350F and line the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray. In a stand mixer, beat  the sugars, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat int he eggs one at a time. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low. Stir in the milk chocolate by hand. Transfer to the prepared cake pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Set aside to cool.
  2. Make strawberry cake. Spray a 9-inch cake pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, whipping to maintain soft peaks. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter and 1/2 cup sugar at a medium speed until fluffy. Add the vanilla and almond. Mix to combine. Add egg yolks one at a time. In a medium bowl whisk together dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the strawberry puree, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Fold in the egg whites. Transfer to the prepared cake pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool.
  3. Make chocolate buttercream. Beat together the butter, cocoa and vanilla. Add the confectioners’ sugar and milk and beat until smooth. Layer the brownie with the strawberry cake. Spread chocolate buttercream around the outside.
  4. Make Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Whisk the egg whites and sugar together in the bowl of your stand mixer or another bowl that’s heat proof. Place bowl over a pot of simmering water (double-boiler style) and whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved. It takes about 5 minutes. You can test whether the sugar is dissolved by sticking your finger in the mixture and seeing if it’s grainy or not. When it’s no longer grainy remove from the double boiler.
  5. Beat on high speed using your stand mixer or an electric hand mixer for 10-15 minutes, or until the egg white mixture has turned into meringue and has increased in volume and is marshmallowy and glossy. The bottom of the bowl should be room temperature by this time. At this point start adding the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Waiting until the butter is incorporated before adding more. If it helps, count to 15 between adding the butter. Spread on top of the strawberry cake.
  6. Make magic shell. Combine 1 cup chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a saucepan. Melt completely. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Pour over the swiss meringue buttercream. Cover with sprinkles. Chill and serve.

Yay! Click HERE for a printable pdf of the giant recipe above.

Insta-Living // take a megabite

Thai Food // Sprankles // Beer Crepes // Produce Party


Vanilla Bean Lemon Bars

by Megan on May 12, 2014

Vanilla Bean Lemon Bars // take a megabite

Once, my friend Jessica brought me vanilla bean lemonade! And last week Cindy made Vanilla Mint Lemonade Pops, so the truth is vanilla bean and lemons are just meant to be! And I just love the speckles in these bars. I kinda want a dress in the exact pattern, ya know? The truth is, the vanilla is super subtle in these guys, but don’t let that stop you. These guys could win a contest based on their looks alone!

Vanilla Bean Lemon Bars // take a megabite

So if you’ve got spare lemons hanging around (like I did) and you’ve been known to eat lemon bars on the way to delivering them to a friend (like I have) then these are meant for you this week. I recommend serving them after cake or before brunch. Maybe put them in a striped bag to send home with your brother, maybe make them with your mom when she’s visiting for the weekend, but mostly just give them a shot, ok?

Vanilla Bean Lemon Bars // take a megabite

Vanilla Bean Lemon Bars
Recipe adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook


crust -

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • pinch of kosher salt + more for sprinkling
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 t grated lemon zest
  • seeds from 1/2 a vanilla bean

lemon business -

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 6 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 t grated lemon zest
  • seeds from 1/2 a vanilla bean


  1. Preheat your oven to 325F.
  2. Make crust. Mix all of the crust ingredients together with an electric mixer beating until mixture resembles crumbs.
  3. Press evenly into the base of a 8 or 9-inch square pan.Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden. Allow to cool slightly.
  4. Make lemon business. Whisk together all of the lemon business ingredients. Pour carefully over the slightly cooled and par-baked crust and return to the hot oven. Bake for 20 more minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the lemon topping has set. Cool completely on a wire rack before covering and refrigerating overnight. Slice and serve powdered sugar.

Yay! Click HERE for a printable pdf of the recipes above.

Vanilla Bean Lemon Bars // take a megabite

And that’s my mom! (Action shot!)