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Mocha Buttercream Cupcakes


Mocha Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes Baking Time: 17-20 minutes

1-1/3 all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup whole milk
½ cup strong brewed coffee
1½ teaspoons espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature

1. Mix the espresso powder into the brewed coffee until dissolved; set aside to cool to room temperature.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard-size muffin tin with paper liners.

3. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

4. Beat the butter and both sugars together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined. In a measuring cup, combine the milk, brewed coffee mixture and vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture, alternating with the coffee mixture, ending with the flour mixture.

5. Divide the batter evenly between the 12 liners. Baking for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting cupcakes.

(Cupcake recipe adapted from My Baking Addiction)

Espresso Buttercream Frosting

Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2½ cups powdered sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons espresso powder

1. Mix the espresso powder into the vanilla until dissolved; set aside.

2. Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping once to scrape the sides of the bowl. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar a little at a time, waiting until it is mostly incorporated before adding more. Once all of the powdered sugar has been added, scrape the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to medium-high and whip until fluffy, about a minute or two. Add the espresso and vanilla mixture and continue to mix at medium-high until it is completely incorporated, scraping the sides as necessary.

*Note: To make the swirls on the cupcakes, I used a 1M decorating tip.



Pains au Chocolat ~ Delicious, warm divine chocolate pillows


When The Mr. and I used to take long weekends in Montreal, we would find the most amazing pâtisseries in the morning after a long night of libations and St. Laurent Street.  I would allow myself to indulge in their amazing croissants, as they were better than ANY croissant I had ever had.  Among the top, were the chocolate croissants they made.

Still warm, slightly chewy and gooey.  Pure heaven.

Since making croissant dough is absolutely bananas to make (so I’ve heard! ), we go to Pepperidge Farms, puff pastry dough and we’ll do the less intense version here.

Yield: Makes 24


2 sheets frozen puff pastry (one 17.3-ounce package), thawed, each sheet cut into 12 squares
1 large egg beaten to blend with 1 tablespoon water (for glaze)
4 3.5-ounce bars imported bittersweet or milk chocolate, each cut into six 2×3/4-inch pieces
Granulated Sugar


Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush top of each puff pastry square with egg glaze. Place 1 chocolate piece on edge of 1 pastry square. Roll up dough tightly, enclosing chocolate. Repeat with remaining pastry and chocolate. Place pastry rolls on baking sheet, seam side down. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover pastries with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Cover and refrigerate remaining egg glaze.





Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush tops of pastry rolls with remaining egg glaze. Sprinkle lightly with sugar and toasted, sliced almonds if desired. Bake until pastries are golden brown, about 15 minutes.  Let cool slightly and dust with powdered sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.  Add more powdered sugar toward serving.  Enjoy!

Creamy Mushroom Tartlet Appetizers

1 Tbsp.
1 pkg.
(8 oz.) fresh mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2 cup
(1/2 of 8-oz. tub) PHILADELPHIA Chive & Onion Cream Cheese Spread
1/4 cup
 Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 can
(8 oz.) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
2 tsp.
finely chopped fresh parsley


  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Melt butter in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add mushrooms; cook 5 min. or until tender, stirring frequently. Add cream cheese spread and Parmesan; cook and stir 1 min. or until cream cheese is melted. Remove from heat; set aside.
  3. Unroll dough into 2 long rectangles; firmly press perforations and seams together to seal. Cut each rectangle into 12 squares. Place 1 square in each of 24 mini muffin cups with corners of squares extending over rims of cups. Firmly press dough onto bottom and up side of each cup. Spoon about 1-1/2 tsp. mushroom mixture into each cup.
  4. Bake 10 to 12 min. or until golden brown. Sprinkle with parsley. Cool in pan 5 min. before serving.

Bread Machine Boston Parker House Rolls

These gorgeous, light, buttery rolls were originally served at Boston’s historic and famous Parker House Hotel, the very same hotel that created the Boston Cream Pie and served these delicious creations to Oliver Wendell Holmes, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
The Omni Parker House is an incredible hotel and if you’re ever in Boston overnight, I highly recommend staying there.  It’s charming and beautiful.  The rooms are elegant, classic, simple and reminiscent of an old turn of the century hotel.  And do make sure you have room service bring you some Parker House rolls and pie!
Parker House Rolls / Bread Machine Version
3 cups bread flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/2 cup butter, softened, Do Not Use Margarine*
1 large egg (Whisked)
3/4 cup water (120F*)
2 tablespoons water (120F*)


Directions Add water, 1/4 cup butter, egg, salt, bread flour, sugar and yeast to bread machine pan in the order suggested by manufacturer.
Select dough/manual cycle.
Meanwhile, put 1/4 cup butter in baking pan.
Melt butter over low heat.
Tilt pan to grease bottom.
When cycle is complete, remove dough from machine to lightly floured surface.
Roll out dough 1/2-inch thick.
With floured 2 3/4-inch round cutter, cut dough into circles.
Holding dough circle by the edge, dip both sides into melted butter in pan; fold in half.
Arrange folded dough in rows in pan, each nearly touching the other.
Knead trimmings together; re-roll and cut more rolls.
Cover and let rise in warm, draft-free place about 45 minutes, or until doubled.
Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven 15 to 18 minutes, or until done.
Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.
Brush With additional butter if desired.
Makes approximately
12-18 rolls

Raspberry ~ Laced Vanilla Cake

Last year on our oldest daughters birthday, I made this cake for her.  While mine did not come out as fancy as this in the photo, it was by far, the best cake I’ve ever made.  It’s really time consuming as there are a lot of layers and steps, but totally worth every minute!


  • Pillsbury® Baking Spray with Flour
  • 3 cups Pillsbury® Softasilk® Enriched & Bleached Cake Flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened or slightly melted
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons clear imitation or regular vanilla extract
  • 1 (12 ounce) jar Smucker’s® Seedless Red Raspberry Jam, divided (1 cup)
  • Fresh raspberries (optional)

Raspberry Cream Frosting

  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon clear imitation or regular vanilla extract
  • 7 1/2 cups powdered sugar, (2 pounds)
  • 1 cup Smucker’s® Red Raspberry Syrup

Preparation Directions

  • HEAT oven to 350°F. Coat three 9-inch round cake pans generously with baking spray with flour. Stir together cake flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in small bowl. Beat 1 1/2 cups butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on high speed until blended. Beat in eggs, milk and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until thoroughly blended. Spread evenly in prepared pans.
  • BAKE 19 to 23 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.
  • BEAT 2 cups butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar and syrup; mix until well blended.
  • LEVEL cake layers as necessary. Cut each cake horizontally to make two layers. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on serving plate; spread with 1/3 cup raspberry jam to within 1/4 inch of edge. Top with the other half of layer, cut side down. Spread with 1/2 cup raspberry cream frosting. Repeat layers twice, using remaining cake and jam and 1 cup of the remaining frosting. Frost the sides of cake. Place remaining frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a coupler and a #4 decorating tip. Pipe frosting on top of cake in a lattice pattern. Using a #21 decorating tip, decorate top edge and base of cake as desired. Chill cake to set frosting. Allow cake to stand at room temperature 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with raspberries, if desired.
  • TIP High Altitude (above 3500 feet): Heat oven to 375°F. Decrease butter in cake batter to 1 cup.