Show your mom how sweet she is this Mother’s Day with these dessert recipes from Judge Rosemarie Aquilina’s kitchen.
By Rosemarie Aquilina
Photography by Viviana Pernot
When I’m bored, I have bake-offs with myself and my family votes. This ranked as one of my mother’s favorites. I serve it year-round. Add whipped cream, strawberry sauce and coffee, and no one leaves my table until only crumbs remain! The cake is a beautiful centerpiece and always a winner!
Cream Cheese and Strawberry Pound Cake
Makes 1 Bundt cake or 2 loaf pans
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
6 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon real vanilla extract
13.5-ounce container or 16-ounce bag strawberry glaze. You’ll use about 10-12 ounces depending on how much filling you prefer.
Powdered sugar, for sprinkling
Optional: Add zest of one lemon and 1 teaspoon lemon flavoring in lieu of almond flavoring.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour Bundt pan, or two loaf pans. (If using loaf pans, line them with parchment paper for ease of release.)
Beat butter at medium speed in large bowl with stand electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. This will take five to seven minutes.
Add cream cheese. Beat until creamy.
Add eggs one at a time. Beat each until just blended then add the next until all six are added.
Gradually add flour one cup at a time, beating at low speed, scraping as needed. Add in almond and vanilla extracts.
Pour 1/3 of batter into prepared pan. Make a well in the center with the back of a teaspoon. With another teaspoon or small cookie scoop, dollop strawberry glaze into the well until it is filled. With a long toothpick, swirl the glaze into the batter so there are veins of strawberry in the batter. Do not let the strawberry go to the edge of the pan. Pour 1/3 of batter over, smooth, then make well and repeat with strawberry glaze and swirl. Pour final 1/3 of batter over the top.
Place in oven in center rack. Bake 70 to 90 minutes. Cake is finished when a toothpick comes out clean. Cool. Release from pan, and place on pretty plate.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. Cool before slicing. If you have used two loaf pans, eat one and freeze one once fully cooled (it freezes well for about three months).
Variation: You may have left over strawberry glaze. I like to cut up freshly washed and dried strawberries into small pieces and mix them into the glaze, cutting as many as the glaze will hold to serve with the cake. I also serve fresh whipped cream, ice cream and other fresh berries with the cake. It’s amazing plain, but dressed up is how some of my family prefers theirs. You may also substitute the strawberry glaze with blueberry glaze.
Frozen Faux Banana Split
A favorite dessert over the holidays, warm days or after school — this treat is versatile and loved by grandparents and children. It can be enjoyed as is or with toppings, just like your favorite banana split. I love it as is, but my children dress it up with add-ons. It never lasts!
Serves 10 to 12
1 ½ packages (12 ounce) cream cheese
2/3 cup sugar
16-ounce container Cool Whip, thawed but still cold
3 to 5 yellow bananas peeled and sliced, amount depends on size
16-ounce frozen strawberries thawed but still cold, drain if needed, slice if needed
20-ounce can pineapple tidbits, drained well
Optional: A few drops of no-taste red food color for brighter pink color
In large bowl with hand or stand mixer, mix together cream cheese and sugar. Add Cool Whip. Fold in fruit.
Options: Line oblong or two square glass pans with lids with parchment paper. Pour contents in. Cover and freeze four hours or overnight. Pull out of freezer 30 minutes before needed. Turn onto cutting board, cut into squares and plate. Or, simply freeze in pretty glass bowls, serve with a spoon and let everyone carve out their own.
My preferred method is to use Pampered Chef’s Ice Cream Sandwich Maker, filling each square with the mixture, placing a lid on top, then freezing. A few minutes after removing from the freezer, push out and plate. A butter knife around the edge may help removal. You may have other ice cream forms that will work.
Serve as is or with whipped cream, fresh fruit, melted dark, milk, white chocolate or Nutella.
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