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Summer Almond Poppy Seed Cake

Summer is one of my favorite times of the year, and it has finally arrived here in Colorado. I’ve been counting down the days, since we usually don’t have much of a spring.  I’m used to long winters so once summer officially arrives, it is quite a treat!    I love waking up to the birds chirping and the sweet smell of fresh flowers.  One of my favorite things to do in the summer is bake a nice breakfast treat and eat it outside on the porch with my family.  I frequently see hummingbirds, foxes, deer and bunnies while I sit outside. 

This Almond Poppy Seed Cake is one of my all time favorite summer breakfast treats and it is even better when enjoyed outside, surrounded by nature and mountain views.  You can make this Almond Poppy Seed Cake anytime of the year, but I always tend to wait until summer has officially arrived to make it.  I like to serve the breakfast cake with fresh raspberries, but any fruit is just fine.   The Almond Poppy Seed Cake brings back wonderful memories and is somewhat of a summer tradition for my family now.  I hope you enjoy this breakfast cake as much as I do, and don’t worry… second servings are alright in my book when it comes to this recipe.  Happy Baking!

Almond Poppy Seed Cake:

  • 1 box Lillabee Yellow Cake Mix
  • 3/4 cup milk (rice, almond, cow etc.)
  • 2 tsp Almond Extract
  • 2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbls Butter or Margarine at room temp
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 3 Tbls Poppy Seeds
  • 2/3 cup slivered Almonds plus 1/3 cup to sprinkle on the top

Almond Glaze:

  • 1 tsp Almond Extract
  • 2 Tbls Milk (almond, rice, cow etc.)
  • 1/2-1 cup Powdered Sugar


Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.  Lightly grease a cake, bundt or loaf bread pan, or line a muffin tin with paper liners.


Combine milk, almond extract and vinegar in a bowl and set aside.

Beat butter or margarine with hand-held or standing mixer until smooth.  Pour contents of bag marked sugar and increase mixer speed to medium.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating each for 20 seconds.

Reduce mixer speed to low and alternate adding in contents of second bag and milk mixture.  Mix until well combined, and scrape down sides of bowl whenever necessary.  Sprinkle in poppy seeds and almonds and stir with a spatula until equally dispersed.  Pour batter into prepared pan or pour 1/4 cup of batter into each paper liner.


Bake cake 35 minutes or muffins 25 minutes approximately, until top is golden brown and toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.  Let cool for 5 minutes in pans or tins, transfer to cooling rack and let cool. 

While the cake is cooling, prepare the almond glaze by whisking together milk, almond extract and powdered sugar.  Continue to add powdered sugar until consistency is slightly thick. 

When the Almond Poppy Seed Cake has cooled, drizzle the glaze on top and sprinkle the remaining almond slivers on top.  Serve with fresh fruit and Enjoy!!

Apple Spice Muffins

These Apple Spice Muffins are a favorite among customers at Whole Foods Market; every time I demo these muffins at the stores, customers continuously talk about how delicious they are.  These samples never seem to last long because shoppers end up taking multiple tastings.   After writing the recipe on the back of multiple Lillabee Anytime Muffin Mix boxes, I’ve decided it is time to share this secret recipe with you all.  Although the incredible flavor may trick you into thinking these Apple Spice Muffins are difficult to prepare, they are actually extremely easy and a quick fix.  Enjoy the muffins and don’t forget you can always use the batter to make a sweet breakfast bread as well.  Just pour the batter into a prepared loaf pan, instead of muffin tins.  Happy Baking!!

  • 1 Box of Lillabee Anytime Muffin Mix (includes sugar and flour)
  • 1/4 Cup + 2 Tbls Margarine (or Butter)
  • 3/4 Cup Shredded Apple, packed (about 2 medium apples)  Fuji, Honeycrisp or Granny Smith Apples are great options
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2/3 cup Milk (cow, rice, almond etc.)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon Juice
  • 2 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Nutmeg


Spray muffin tins with canola oil or use margarine/butter to grease the pan.  Preheat oven to 325 degree F.


Mix the spices with the Lillabee flour mixture in a bowl and set aside.  Combine milk, lemon juice/vinegar and vanilla in a separate bowl and set aside.  Cream margarine and sugar from the Lillabee Muffin Mix on medium speed for about 2 minutes.  Scrape down the edges with a spatula and then add the eggs and mix until fully incorporated.  Slowly add the flour/spice mixture and mix on medium-low speed until smooth.  Add the milk mixture and scrape down the edges of the bowl with a spatula when necessary.  Using a cheese grater, grate the apples and fold them into the muffin batter with a spatula.  You can also shred the apples by using a food processor, either method works just fine.  Scoop the batter into muffins tins; the muffins tins should be filled almost to the top.  You can always top the muffins with fresh apple chunks for an even better presentation.


Bake the Apple Spice Muffins at 325 degree F for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle.  Let the muffins rest in the muffin tins for about 5 minutes on the counter after baking before removing them from the tin.  Enjoy!! 


Coconut Brownies (Sugar and Butter free)

Chocolate and coconut is a perfect combination.  Not only does it remind me of Samoa Girl Scout Cookies, but it is a huge weakness of mine.  I have a hard time turning down anything with chocolate and coconut.  With this being said, I decided to make some “healthy” coconut brownies.  Instead of using butter/margarine, I used coconut oil.  I also replaced and reduced the white sugar with coconut sugar.  These brownies are delicious, and they are a healthier alternative … so dig in.  I hope you enjoy and good luck resisting these coconut brownies. 

Brownie Batter

  • 1 Box Lillabee Brownie Mix (without the sugar)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Coconut extract
  • 1/3 cup + 2 Tbls Coconut Oil
  • 1 cup Coconut Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Apple Sauce

Brownie Topping

  • 1 Tbls Coconut Sugar
  • 1 tsp Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  • Dairy Free Chocolate Chips (Enjoy Life is a good brand to use)


Spray a 9×9 inch baking dish with oil and set aside.  Preheat over to 350 degrees F.


Toss the Unsweetened Coconut Flakes with 1 Tbls Coconut Sugar and 1 tsp Coconut oil.  Set Aside.

With a hand-held mixer, beat together the melted coconut oil and coconut sugar.  Add the apple sauce and coconut extract and continue to mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, to the sugar mixture.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary.  Slowly fold in the Lillabee flour mixture with a spatula.  The batter will be thick.  Evenly spread the brownie batter across the prepared baking dish. 


Bake the brownies for 20-25 minutes at 350 degree F.  Make sure the brownies are placed in the center of the oven.  When the brownies are almost done baking, sprinkle the prepared coconut flakes across the top of the brownies and bake for 2-3 more minutes.  Once the brownies are done, set them aside to cool.  Melt the chocolate chips and drizzle the melted chocolate over the top of the coconut.  Let the chocolate harden before serving.

Don’t forget, these brownies are healthy and nutritious…. so don’t be afraid to have seconds 😉

Spinach Waffles

Spinach waffles are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!  As a child I was always excited for breakfast on St. Patrick’s Day.  Each year my mom would make a fun green breakfast for us kids; we never knew what to expect.  Some years we simply had cereal with green milk and other years we had green pancakes, muffins and waffles.  After looking through some old photos of our tasty green breakfast goodies, I was inclined to make my own green breakfast treat for this year’s holiday.  I ended up making some tasty green waffles!  They do not require any food coloring, and they are packed with nutrients from all the spinach.  They are simple to prepare, yet guaranteed to catch some eyes.  I hope you have a lucky day and enjoy this “Irish” treat.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  • 1 cup Lillabee Pancake Mix
  • 1/3 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 Tbls Sugar
  • 1 Tbls Canola Oil
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pureed spinach
  • 2/3 cup Milk (cow, rice, almond etc.)
  • agave nectar for serving


 Heat a waffle iron and brush it with oil.


First steam a large handful of spinach until slightly wilted.  Let the spinach cool, then puree the spinach with a food processor.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the pancake mix and cinnamon.  In a separate bowl combine the milk, sugar, egg, vanilla and oil and whisk to combine.  Slowly add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and whisk to combine. Batter should be smooth after mixing.  Add the pureed spinach to the waffle batter and continue whisking.  Mix until the spinach is evenly dispersed. Let the batter rest for about 5 minutes to slightly thicken.

Pour the batter onto the hot waffle iron.  The waffles are done when light golden brown on edges, however consult your waffle iron for best results. This recipe should make about 4 large waffles.  Serve spinach waffles with agave nectar or maple syrup. 

Enjoy and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Zucchini Pistachio Pancakes

There is a local hole-in-the-wall coffee house in Lakewood that serves some killer pancakes!  I recently tried their zucchini pistachio pancakes and was hooked.  I’ve never cooked with that flavor combination before, but it will now be one of my go-to combos.  These pancakes are seriously delicious.  The zucchini gives the pancakes a little extra lift, and the pistachios add the perfect amount of crunch.  I made these hot cakes with eggs, but they will be just as delicious without the eggs, no vegan substitution required.  Enjoy and Happy Baking!

  • 1 cup Lillabee Pancake Mix
  • 1/3 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/3 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 Tbls Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbls Canola Oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Zucchini (approx. 1 small zucchini)
  • 1/4 cup chopped Pistachios
  • 2/3 cup Milk (cow, rice, almond etc.)
  • agave nectar for serving


 Heat a large pancake skillet over medium heat and brush it with oil.


First shred the zucchini with a cheese-grater or food processor, and then finely chop the pistachios.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the pancake mix and spices.  In a separate bowl combine the milk, sugar, egg and oil and whisk to combine.  Slowly add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and whisk to combine. Batter should be smooth after mixing.  Fold the shredded zucchini and chopped pistachios into the batter with a spatula.  Let the pancake batter rest for about 5 minutes.

Form each pancake by dropping 1/3 cup of batter onto the skillet.  Cook until golden on the bottom and then flip the pancake for a few more minutes.  Repeat with the remaining batter.  This recipe should make between 6 and 8 medium pancakes. Serve pancakes with agave nectar, maple syrup or honey for a sweet finish.  Enjoy!