Joy’s Traditional Banana Coffee Cake with Drunken Raisins and Vanilla Rum Gloss

banana coffe cake

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 t baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/4 cups ripe banana mashed, about 3 bananas
  • 1/2 cup rum soaked raisins
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup roasted nuts, optional
  • sanding sugar (optional garnish)

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl beat sugar, oil, buttermilk, vanilla and eggs. Add the dry ingredients and beat slowly until just blended. Do not over beat. Fold in mashed bananas, raisins and roasted nuts if using. Pour into prepared 9 inch round cake pan. Crust the top with a sprinkling of course sanding sugar. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes or until tester come out clean.

Judy”s Healthy Twist Baby Banana Bundt Cakes

Judys Healthy Twist Baby Banana Bundt Cakes

  • 2 medium bananas, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 / 2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 1 / 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 / 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 / 4 cup chopped almonds (optional)
  • honey for drizzle
  • edible flowers for garnish


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease mini bundt pans, set aside. Mix together the bananas, olive oil, honey, vanilla, and eggs until completely combined. Add the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon stir until all the ingredients
are fully incorporated.

Spoon the mixture (which should be thick) into the prepared mini bundt pans and smooth the top. Sprinkle the chopped almonds over the top. Fills about five mini bundt pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and a knife comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Drizzle with honey and garnish with edible flowers

Joy’s Traditional Pavlova

Joy's Traditional Pavlova

  • 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur (optional)
  • 4 cups strawberries


Beat egg whites and cream of tartar and salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, until stiff, glossy peaks form. Beat in the cornstarch, vinegar and the vanilla just until blended.

On a baking sheet that you lined with parchment paper or foil, spread the meringue into a 10 inch circle. Raise the edge a bit and leave a slight indentation in the center. (like a saucer shape)

Bake in a preheated 250 degrees F oven until firm to the touch, about 1-1/4 hours. Meringue should look cream-coloured. If it appears to be browning, reduce oven temperature to 225 degrees F. Turn off oven and open the door, let sit in there for an hour.

When ready to serve, peel parchment paper off back of meringue. Place meringue on a serving plate. Cut strawberries or any berries you wish into halves or slices. Whip cream until stiff peaks form. Gently stir in liqueur or extract of your choice if using. Spread whipped cream over meringue leaving edge of meringue visible. Top with strawberries. Cut into wedges to serve.

Judy’s Quick and Easy Twist on Pavlova

Judy's Quick and Easy Twist on Pavlova

  • 1 10 oz package of frozen strawberries, reduced sugar (works best)
  • 1 8 oz container of frozen whipped topping
  • 3 or 4 store bought meringue cookies, vanilla flavored, just slightly broken up with your hands


Strain most of the syrup from the berries. In a large bowl combine whipped topping and gently add crushed cookies and then the berries of your choice. Fold until just combined. Serve in martini glasses, (the plastic colored ones are great for outdoors) Makes about 6 individual servings.

Rum Soaked Raisins

Pour raisins into a glass bowl. Pour 1/2 cup dark rum over raisins (spice rum works too). Add enough water so that all raisins are covered in the liquid and let sit for at least 30 minutes

  • Vanilla Rum Gloss
  • 1 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk or water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon rum flavoring

Combine all ingredients with enough milk or water to the desired consistency. Makes about 1 taste and add more vanilla or rum, whichever you prefer cups.

This is a very forgiving recipe, if it becomes too thin add more powdered sugar and too thick add more liquid until you’re happy with it.

Joy Traditional – Espresso con Biscotti

A treasure in our home, this thicker, almost syrupy coffee is a great finish for any meal. When paired with baby biscotti…..perfetto!

baby biscotti

Brewed Espresso

Baby Biscotti

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup vanilla sugar* (regular sugar can be used)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • nuts, optional

Heat oven to 375F. Cream butter and sugar for 2 minutes. Add eggs, yolks, orange zest and vanilla extract. Mix until blended. Add flour, baking powder & salt. Mix until incorporated. Divide dough in half onto a parchment lined baking sheet form into a log shape, 12 x 2 or smaller in width if making baby biscotti. Bake for 20-25 minutes, cool, then cut diagonally. Lower oven temp to 325F and bake 10 minutes longer until golden.

*Vanilla Sugar– A Twin favorite! 2 cups sugar, 1-2 vanilla beans, split. In an air tight container, gently push beans into the sugar. Let the beans perfume the sugar for a few days before using.

Judys Twist – Affagato

An affogato (Italian, “drowned”) is a coffee-based beverage. It usually takes the form of a scoop of vanilla gelato or ice cream topped with a shot of hot espresso


3 1/2 cups gelato or ice cream*

  • 3-4 biscotti cookies, broken in to small pieces
  • 4 cups brewed espresso
  • francellico liqueuer, optional

Soften the icecream and add the crushed cookies. Place back into the freezer to firm up. In 4 espresso cups add a scoop of biscotti gelato and pour hot espress over it

*we used vanilla or chocolate

Happy Days are Here Again!

The lazy days of summer are finally leaving us as we move into cool crisp mornings and sunny warm afternoons. The stores are filled with pencils, paper and school glue…..loving this! THE KIDS ARE GOING BACK TO SCHOOL, HOORAY! Oh my God, we were counting down the days.

Our mom used to sing a song to us every year as the first day of school came rolling around. It’s called “Happy Days are Here Again”. She would dance around the kitchen laughing, singing and clapping. The saying “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” must be true because we find ourselves singing this same song song to our children!

As we decided what recipe would be right for this story we remembered a cake our Nana used to make. Its been in our family for 75 years now. She called it a “Happy Day Cake”. No one in the family can remember why she chose this name but we think it would be a perfect choice for our first day of freedom. The cake is a lightly vanilla-scented batter and can be used as a base for many dessert choices. Nana used it for the traditional summertime favorite, strawberry shortcake and birthday cakes frosted with sweet icings or simply topped with a late summer fruit. To this day, we all feel that Nana made this cake the best out of all the women in our family, but we try to make her proud and hope she is watching….Enjoy!

Judy’s Twist Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies

Judy's Twist Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies

This is our Mom’s old fashion recipe that she has been making for us since we were children.

  • 1 cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy**
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries or any dried fruit
  • 2 cups Kashi 7 Whole Grain Honey Puffs**
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup your favorite protein powder**
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips, melted for drizzle


Warm the honey and the butter in microwave for 1 minute and blend together. Mix the rest of the ingredients with this mixture together and form into cookies, about 2 inches in diameter. Drizzle with melted white chocolate chips(optional). Can be put into an 8 x 8 inch pan. Put in fridge until hardened. Enjoy!

**soy based or almond butter works well also.
**Any puffed cereal works well or a gluten free cereal