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Sweet Melissa’s Blueberry Muffins and Carrot Cake & Books Giveaway

I have really felt like I have been on a mini vacation this past week, baking my way through The Sweet Melissa Baking Book, written by Melissa Murphy, owner and pastry chef of Sweet Melissa Bakery in New York city. When I received the book for preview I was really excited to finally make some of her creations in my own kitchen. I have been a fan of her work for a long time and promised myself I would straight to her bakery if I ever made it to New York one day. Well, it was even better this past week because I took a trip there four times in four days! I have tried to do a thorough review of the book for you guys but the best part is at the end of this post where I have the chance to give away 5 copies of this new book!

The book is a right along the line as a classic baking book filled with hundreds of recipes of every body’s favorites. This is the kind of book that references all the basic and classic American standards but often with a little spin to it (like an orange flavored cream cheese frosted carrot cake). Fans of the bakery are able to make some of their bestsellers right in their house at the spur of the moment and others like me can rely on a thoroughly written book for all the things that make a bakery a success. Out of the four recipes I have tried so far, (Blueberry Muffins, Lemon bars, Lemon Blueberry Buttermilk Pie, Carrot Cake) all turned out perfect and delicious and there are plenty more I am dying to try like the cashew bar that Jennifer recently posted about.

For the sake of doing a true to the author’s work review, I baked the recipes as written and everything not only turned out delicious but I never once had to scratch my head saying "not sure I would have given the instructions like that, but eh…" I liked the book on so many different levels. If you are a novice baker, this is definitely the book to get to get you started in the kitchen, if you are a seasoned baker you will certainly enjoy revisiting the classics as well as childhood favorites. Each chapter is chock full of life and love for sugar, butter and flour!

How does Sweet Potato Bread With Cinnamon Rum Glaze sound from the chapter "Dessert for breakfast"? It also has some terrific recipes for muffins, quick breads, waffles and more. "After School Snacks" has been thoroughly studied by me husband bookmarking Snickerdoodles and Chestnut Honey Madeleines among the dozens of brownies, cookies and bars. I have been studying the chapter "It’s Somebody’s Birthday" closely lately as we have a few family members coming up with serious celebrating time and the Fluffy Coconut Cake With Passion Fruit Filling is high on my priority list! I can’t wait for B 's birthday to make the Chocolate Malted Layer Cake!
If you have read this blog for a while now, you know of my produce guy Sunny who seems to download all his surplus fruits into my cart!

I found my happiness in "What Will We Do With All This Fruit" making the Lemon Blueberry Buttermilk Pie (recipe next week) and I can’t wait to try her Sour Cherry Pie With Pistachio Crumble. Now the recipe that really made it for us was the Carrot Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting in the chapter entitled "Sunday Supper Grand Finale". I love carrot cakes that are simple in ingredients and yet very moist. We are not big fan of pineapples in ours, and B. has an aversion for raisins so it was quite a delight to make Melissa’s version that excludes both but remains delicately moist and the frosting really gave the cake another dimension. What about a Fallen Chocolate Souffle Cake or a Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie? I know! I can’t stop!! To end things on a strong sugar high, the final chapter is devoted to "Favorite Gifts" like Butter Toffee Crunch, Earl Grey Truffles, Peanut Praline, just to name a few!

Blueberry Muffins (Makes 12)

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 Tb plus 1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 stick butter, melted
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 Tb granulated sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a muffin pan with muffin liners, coat with cooking spray.
In a large blow, whisk together the flour, baking powder granulated sugar and salt. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, and eggs until smooth. Whisk in the heavy cream and milk until combined.
Add the zest to the flour mixture and with your hands, gently rub the mixture together, releasing the oils and breaking up the bits. Add the fresh fruit and gently toss with your fingers to combine. Make a well in the center of the bowl. Pour the butter mixture into the center of the well and using a spatula, gently pull the flour mixture into the center of the well until just combined.
Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling each until 3/4s of the way up. Bake 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with sugar and let cool on a wire rack.


Carrot Cake With Orange Cream Cheese Frosting:

For the cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ Tb ground cinnamon
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
4 large eggs
¾ cup vegetable oil
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 pound carrots, grated medium fine
¾ cup chopped walnuts

For the frosting:
12 oz cream cheese softened
2 1/ 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
Zest of 1 orange
2 sticks butter, softened
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour two 8×2-inch round cake pans. Line each pan with an 8-inch round piece of parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the eggs at high speed until light and frothy, about one minute. Decrease the speed to medium and add the oil, sugar and salt and mix just until combines. Decrease the speed to low and add the flour mixture until jut combined. Using a spatula, fold in the carrots and walnuts.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Tap the pans one against the other to level the top and eliminate air bubbles. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove and let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before turning the layers out onto the rack. Cool completely before frosting.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, sugar and zest. Start on low speed and then increase to medium high speed and beat until smooth. Add the butter and mix on medium speed until just fluffy and smotth, about 45 seconds. Add the vanilla and mix until just combined. Do not overbeat.

To assemble:
Use the frosting as both the filling and the frosting so divide some evenly between both layer and use the remaining to cover the sides and top.
I made 4 small ones (4-inch round) and use the frosting just in between the layer and also to cover them all. I split each layer in half so I had a total of four which is to me a little nicer on the eye.

Book Giveaway: I am really excited to be able to give away 5 copies of the book to you guys…Yes! Thanks to the great folks at the Penguin Group/Viking Studio, one book can be yours! All you have to do is leave a comment to this post between now and monday 3pm and I’ll let the Random Number Generator pick 5 lucky recipients. I will announce the winners on Tuesday 3/18 as well as tell you about another fantastic recipe from the book.

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PheMom March 15, 2008 um 6:22 pm

Hi! I don’t know how I ended up being first to comment, but here I am. This book sounds fabulous! So does that carrot cake. I too am not a fan of the pineapple and raisins, so this sounds like the recipe for me! Thanks for a lovely review.

Lel March 15, 2008 um 6:39 pm

Hi 🙂 That Sweet Potato Bread sounds amazing! I’m all about dessert for breakfast. Thanks for the scrumptious-looking post. Can’t wait for the Lemon Blueberry Pie recipe, that has to be one of my favorite combinations~

Meg March 15, 2008 um 6:47 pm

It sounds like a terrific book. But I sort of want to know… when are YOU writing a cookbook? Because given how often I’ve hit your blog for baking recipes (my kids love your chocolate madeleines), that would be a cookbook I would buy.

Anonymous March 15, 2008 um 6:47 pm

I am rather intrigued by the Earl Grey Truffles. The Sweet Potato Bread also looks like it might be rather delicious. Sounds like a trip to amazon may be in order!!!

Anonymous March 15, 2008 um 6:50 pm

The more I hear about this book the hungrier I get. The muffins are just lovely and I can’t wait to get my hands on those fruit recipes! Thanks for the review!

Rachel@fairycakeheaven March 15, 2008 um 6:58 pm

Pineapple and carrot are such a good combination, this looks gorgeous, wonder is the book available in Ireland?

Rachel@fairycakeheaven March 15, 2008 um 6:59 pm

Not sure where I got pineapple from, but you know what I mean……………..oranges sound great too 😉

Amanda March 15, 2008 um 6:59 pm

Oh! Pick me!!! That carrot cake looks amazing!

Anonymous March 15, 2008 um 7:07 pm

Oooh. I want one! Pleeeeease?

Anonymous March 15, 2008 um 7:08 pm

Oh, please, random number generator, pick me! Yummy!

Unknown March 15, 2008 um 7:17 pm

Hmmmm… I am dreaming of orage carrot cake, coconut cake with maracujá filling…

Eliza524 March 15, 2008 um 7:18 pm

Please, please, please. This book has been in my Amazon wish list for far too long.

Engineer Baker March 15, 2008 um 7:20 pm

Dessert for breakfast? I’m sold!

laci March 15, 2008 um 7:21 pm

lemon + blueberry + buttermilk + pie??? holy cow, count me in!

Debbie March 15, 2008 um 7:24 pm

I’ve been looking for a good carrot cake recipe, I can’t wait to try this one. By the way, I tried your mini tarts with cream cheese topping and they came out divine! One of my favorite recipes. Thank you so much for this one! I hope to get this book, as my Amazon Book list is in the 300 dollar range at this point. 🙂

Anonymous March 15, 2008 um 7:30 pm

Oooh! Ooooh! Oooooh! Pick me! Pick me! Pick me!

::waving hand frantically::

Can’t wait to read the recipes…

hemmafru March 15, 2008 um 7:31 pm

Carrot cake is a food group in our house. Makes a great breakfast! The book looks fabulous.

Anonymous March 15, 2008 um 7:31 pm

Oh my god, blueberry muffins? Carrot Cake? PIE?! I’m drooling just from that cover shot!

anne-laure March 15, 2008 um 7:32 pm

Well, it all sounds and most of all looks promising!
If luck isn’t on my side, I’ll have to go and by this book…

Chavi March 15, 2008 um 7:41 pm

Mmm… these recipes sound amazing! Cant wait to try them…Post more soon!!

Celeste March 15, 2008 um 7:41 pm

How did the book do as far as pictures go? I MUST have fabulous pictures in my cookbooks! (anybody else?) That’s one of the reasons I love your blog, fantastic pics! I wish I had the camera skills….
and that cookbook. 😉

Kathy – Panini Happy March 15, 2008 um 7:49 pm

"What will we do with all this fruit" – I love it!!

breadchick March 15, 2008 um 7:49 pm

OK, once again you and I are going to be scary "together" because I had BREAKFAST here yesterday while I was in Brooklyn for a meeting in Park Slope. I snagged a pastry for the train ride back to the office and I don’t mind saying the people around me were staring at my treat with envy.

Ben March 15, 2008 um 7:55 pm

With my luck the random number generator will just pass me without even giving me a random number. LOL At least I am still trying :-p

Anna March 15, 2008 um 7:59 pm

That carrot cake looks fantastic, but it’s the sound of the earl grey truffles and fallen chocolate souffle cake that catch my attention! Gorgeous ^__^

ikkinlala March 15, 2008 um 8:15 pm

That book sounds wonderful – even just the idea of "dessert for breakfast" has my mouth watering!

Jess March 15, 2008 um 8:15 pm

Yay for carrot cake! That book sounds awesome!

Anonymous March 15, 2008 um 8:16 pm

All your stuff looks absolutely mouth-wateringly delicious! This new book looks amazing, I’d love to have my own copy!

Bridget March 15, 2008 um 8:17 pm

I cannot wait to check out this book! It sounds so good! That is exactly how we like our carrot cake, too! 🙂

meliass March 15, 2008 um 8:23 pm

I’m a Melissa and I bake…so I must have this book. 🙂

eatme_delicious March 15, 2008 um 8:24 pm

Ooo another delicious baking book. I’d love to win a copy. 🙂 The muffins and carrot cake look yummy!

RobynE March 15, 2008 um 8:24 pm

I have a freezer full of sour cherries. So, therefore, I clearly need this book. Hear that, random number generator!

Anonymous March 15, 2008 um 8:25 pm

The carrot cake looks yumjmy!

Anonymous March 15, 2008 um 8:26 pm

Oops, I was comment #28, but forgot to put my name before…

Anonymous March 15, 2008 um 8:27 pm

I’d love to see a comparison between the SM carrot cake and the Silver Palate recipe, which is the reigning champ in my house. Come to think of it, a carrot cake bake-off sounds kind of a great…hmmm.
PS Random Number Generator, I love you!

Brittany March 15, 2008 um 8:30 pm

I just found your blog yesterday and ironically enough, I was looking for a carrot cake recipe! So yay!!!

P.S. Pick me!! Pick me!!! Hehe!

Anonymous March 15, 2008 um 8:38 pm

That carrot cake looks ridiculously good.

Mary March 15, 2008 um 8:39 pm

Thanks for such a lovely cookbook review. I really hope you pick me, but if you don’t I’ll probably go buy the cookbook anyway.

bloggingmom March 15, 2008 um 8:41 pm

The blueberry muffins sound awesome as does the carrot cake. I am definitely trying these. I would love a copy of the book. Looks like a really good one.

Veron March 15, 2008 um 8:49 pm

darn…I already have this book. But I have not tried anything from it yet. I shall try the carrot cake.

Claude-Olivier Marti March 15, 2008 um 8:50 pm

Your pictures look fantastic, congratulation for this so nice blog! Not always to read in English but anyway, I should try 😉 cheers

The Atheist Cartographer March 15, 2008 um 8:51 pm

Both the sweet potato bread and the sour cherry pie sound delicious! What a lovely book.


CatR March 15, 2008 um 8:53 pm

Everything sounds delicious! Thanks for highlighting this book – it’s gone on the wishlist…

MyKitchenInHalfCups March 15, 2008 um 8:54 pm

Gee pers, you really poured it on with this one. I’ve been looking at buttermilk pie recipes for years and wanted to do one for Alanna’s pi day but ran out of time for it.
Sweet Potato Bread With Cinnamon Rum Glaze – yes I’m sure I could manage that.
The carrot cake – I don’t like raisins or pineapple in mine!
And your list just goes on and just keeps sounding better & better.

Anonymous March 15, 2008 um 8:56 pm

I make Carrot Cake every year for Easter. I am definitely going to try this version this year.

Rachel March 15, 2008 um 8:59 pm


glamah16 March 15, 2008 um 9:00 pm

OH please. I hope the random generator picks me. I’m hooked just by the recipe titles you reeled off.

Jessie March 15, 2008 um 9:02 pm

Must have the carrot cake.

Anonymous March 15, 2008 um 9:03 pm

The recipes from the book sound great and can’t wait to try out the carrot cake, my daughter’s favorite.

Rosanne March 15, 2008 um 9:04 pm

The muffins and carrot cake look so good, I will have to bake them!

Unknown March 15, 2008 um 9:07 pm

Can’t wait to check out the recipe book.

Anonymous March 15, 2008 um 9:13 pm

hi its the first tim im commenting on your blog.. some of the things you mentiond sound great and the carror cake looks delicious..!

Anonymous March 15, 2008 um 9:31 pm

Hi- this is Melissa Murphy, the author, and I have to say, this is the nicest thing that has ever happened to me. I am over the moon happy, breathlessly so, and excited that you all have said such wonderful things. I am so proud of the fact that the recipes "tartlette" has tested came out as beautiful as they did. I tested them so many times to be sure that they would. It makes me cry when I make a new recipe and it doesn’t work because of the way it’s written. So so so happy. Oh, also, there are 2 recipes that would be great for St. Patty’s- the Guiness Gingerbread ( very moist and spicy, delicious, and I also included my favorite recipe for Irish Soda Bread. Thank you, Thank you!

Anonymous March 15, 2008 um 9:40 pm

I’m a regular reader of your blog but have never commented on any of the posts. The giveaway was too good to pass up, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the random number generator likes me! Keep on posting yummy goodness with gorgeous pics!

Dazey March 15, 2008 um 9:41 pm

Oooh, this book looks really good. I covet books as a matter of course but cookbooks are becoming my special vice, they’re useful which makes that that much easier to justify as opposed to fiction!

Vida March 15, 2008 um 9:43 pm

What a great position to be in, get given a book, cook, eat and then make other people happy by giving them the opportunity to do the same, WOW, you have the best job in the world, that is one job I would love to have!! Thanks for the chance to win a book!! Vida x

Anonymous March 15, 2008 um 9:50 pm

Muffins? Carrot Cake? DESSERT FOR BREAKFAST?!! How could I possibly pass this up? Oh, Random Number Generator, pick me, please!!

noisy penguin March 15, 2008 um 9:59 pm

The book sounds wonderful! Thanks for the contest. =)

Elly March 15, 2008 um 10:06 pm

Carrot cake is my absolute FAVORITE and this looks so good! The book sounds great. Thanks for the contest 🙂

Anonymous March 15, 2008 um 10:07 pm

I can’t wait to try the Irish Soda Bread recipe. The Carrot cake looks amazing! I’m a HUGE fan of anything carrot-y.

Thanks so much for the contest and for sharing these two great recipes with us!

Rosa's Yummy Yums March 15, 2008 um 10:07 pm

Both the muffins and carrot cake look awesome! I’d have a little of both, please ;-P!

I’m crossing my fingers! Getting a copy of that book would be great…



test it comm March 15, 2008 um 10:17 pm

That "Sweet Potato Bread With Cinnamon Rum Glaze" does sound really good. The carrot cake looks good too.

Karin March 15, 2008 um 10:17 pm

The recipes sound wonderful! Yummy! Please throw my name into the hat too! Thank you!

Anonymous March 15, 2008 um 10:25 pm

Just want to say that I love your blog.


ChristinaBakes March 15, 2008 um 10:38 pm

Yum, that carrot cake looks so delicious! I can’t wait to check out this cookbook. Thanks for the heads up.

BlondeJustice March 15, 2008 um 10:45 pm

Dear Random Number Generator,

Should you find yourself having trouble picking me, then maybe this very full envelope of unmarked greenbacks will persuade you.

Yours Sincerely,

The Bribing Blogger

Cannelle Et Vanille March 15, 2008 um 11:04 pm

This is the second review I read of this cookbook and it looks really good. Sign me up!

Marisa March 15, 2008 um 11:21 pm

I love sweet melissa’s!!! I used to live around the corner from there and go every morning. I’d LOVE to be able to make everything i used to get!

Anonymous March 15, 2008 um 11:22 pm

Sounds like a great book for a novice baker to have in her collection!

XBaker March 15, 2008 um 11:38 pm

Your blog is inspiring me to get in the kitchen. I think I’ll try the vanilla vanilla cupcakes, but that carrot cake does look YUM!

Anonymous March 15, 2008 um 11:46 pm

Oh! I’m just joining up with Daring Bakers for April, and I’d absolutely love to have a nice sweet book to help get me started!!

Emily Lauren

quizzycal March 15, 2008 um 11:57 pm

Sweet Potato Bread? A culmination of all things yeasty and good 0_0 I’d love to win a copy!

Warda March 15, 2008 um 11:58 pm

– Random number generator usually doen’t like me. I would loose even if we were only two people 🙂 But still, your goodies look absolutely stunning. Where do you get the wrapping paper for the muffins from, helene?

Feminine.Gourmand.Connoisseur March 15, 2008 um 11:58 pm

I’ve tried "almost" every blueberry muffin recipe on the planet…and this one will be next. Hmmmm…I suppose I should start my own blog~someplace to store all my feminine wiles 🙂
BTW …if "Veron" wins [tx to the random number generator] …generate their copy to moi! Merci~

[ Feminine.Gourmand.Connoisseur ]

Vanessa March 15, 2008 um 11:59 pm

I love your blog, it always makes me hungry. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for that cookbook 🙂


Anonymous March 16, 2008 um 12:06 am

I love the idea of the cream cheese and orange icing! i’d love to have the book!!! 🙂

breckster March 16, 2008 um 12:08 am

There is nothing better than desserts that you can pretend have healthy aspects.

Jane March 16, 2008 um 12:26 am

Well I must say, I’m going to try the blueberry muffins. They look good and I have some frozen from the summer. Of course winning the book….well what can I say.


Ethereal Dreamer March 16, 2008 um 12:29 am

The carrot cake looks lovely!

Je voudrais cette livre (non?)

Sara March 16, 2008 um 12:40 am

wowser, those look amazing! i would love a copy … kudos on the adorable carrot decorations on the carrot cake!

Peabody March 16, 2008 um 12:50 am

I just got done making the Chestnut Honey Madelienes this morning…you should so make those…they are awesome.

BitterSweet March 16, 2008 um 12:52 am

Sounds like a wonderful cookbook, especially when your renditions of the recipes look so amazing. No need to enter me into the contest though, I would much rather someone else win it. 🙂

Christina March 16, 2008 um 12:53 am

It all looks scrumptious…And what a neat chapter layout!

Brilynn March 16, 2008 um 12:53 am

You’ve got me craving carrot cake, and orange frosting is a great idea!

Tito March 16, 2008 um 12:56 am

Please pick me, random number generator. I need help when it comes to desserts…that’s why I’m CONSTANTLY checking in on Tartlette’s site. 😉

BEST OF THE NEST March 16, 2008 um 1:00 am

I would love to have the book and cant get enough of your blog!

Katie March 16, 2008 um 1:04 am

I’m in line, too! Love your blog–I read it all the time.

slush March 16, 2008 um 1:10 am

The muffins and cake look amazing. Both would not last long in my house.

Anonymous March 16, 2008 um 1:10 am

I made blueberry muffins today… and they look like crap next to the Sweet Melissa recipe. Eh, well. Better luck to me next time, maybe.

Lori March 16, 2008 um 1:20 am

I have some blueberries in my freezer that are about to find life outside of the freezer and into that recipe.

Now I have a question, if Melissa the author wins, will you actually give her her own book? Hee hehe just teasing.

I just love your blog. I am addicted to adoring your sweets. So calorie free!

Annie March 16, 2008 um 1:24 am

I love your blog! It’s calorie-free reading……until I splurge on your recipes! Thank you for sharing them with us.

Dana March 16, 2008 um 1:31 am

How could I resist a giveaway of a book that sounds this fantastic — especially when my "adopt-a-blogger" parent is giving it away!

HilLesha O'Nan March 16, 2008 um 1:38 am

I’m in 🙂

Rose March 16, 2008 um 1:40 am

Hooray – I’ve been looking for the perfect carrot cake recipe. I can’t wait to try it (and win one of the full cookbooks as well!)

Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict….You Decide March 16, 2008 um 1:44 am

My Hubster would love cashew bars.

Pick Me! Pick Me! Pick Me!

thecoffeesnob March 16, 2008 um 1:47 am

Ooh. Now i want carrot cake more than anything else for breakfast this morning.

Anonymous March 16, 2008 um 1:49 am

oh wow, the petit carrot cake looks so cute! is the book mainly focused on typical american sweet treats? the "after school snacks" section sounds really appealing to me, even though i’ve never really eaten those things as afternoon snacks :P.

thanx for reviewing the book and giving away free copies to ur readers. it’s really generous of u!

Daniela6968 March 16, 2008 um 2:15 am

Please count me in! I would love to try some of these.

Anonymous March 16, 2008 um 2:22 am


Anonymous March 16, 2008 um 2:25 am

Wow – everything looks and sounds great, especially the carrot cake! I’d love get my hands on a copy of the book and give some of the recipe a whirl in my kitchen!

Meddi March 16, 2008 um 2:29 am

I love your blog..
I’m a regular reader of your blog but have never commented on any of the posts..That carrot cake looks amazing!…

Anonymous March 16, 2008 um 2:41 am

Delurking to say I’ve just discovered your foodblog and am enjoying reading through! I’d love to win the book!

Talyn March 16, 2008 um 2:48 am


Carmen March 16, 2008 um 2:54 am

sounds like a great book!

Alison K. March 16, 2008 um 3:00 am

I just discovered your blog and i really love it. I am always up for a new cake recipe!!!

Chris March 16, 2008 um 3:24 am

All the recipes sound delicious! I used to be a big fan of carrot cake – don’t eat it so much anymore, but yummmm!

Gretchen Noelle March 16, 2008 um 3:28 am

Oh, oh…I want one, I want one! So I made a sweet potato bread today but no cinnamon rum glaze to with it. 🙁
I am happy to try this carrot cake. I agree on the no raisins, no pineapple camp. Other things sounds exceptionally tasty as well, I am excited to hear more soon!

Unknown March 16, 2008 um 3:29 am

This book sounds fabulous!!! Let me in!

Seattle Tall Poppy March 16, 2008 um 3:55 am

Oooh! That carrot cake sounds divine! And sweet potato bread? Mmmm….I can’t wait to play with this book!

trish March 16, 2008 um 3:56 am

Those recipes sound delicious! Enter me in your drawing, please!

Irene March 16, 2008 um 4:25 am

looks fantastic 🙂

Maggie M. March 16, 2008 um 5:00 am

sounds great, love your blog 🙂

Teashionista March 16, 2008 um 5:25 am

The book looks great! I am a huge fan of blueberry muffins, and will now have to make Sweet Melissa’s version!


Anonymous March 16, 2008 um 5:51 am

looks like a fanastic book. can’t so any better than dessert for breakfast 🙂


emily March 16, 2008 um 8:17 am

yum yum yum. love this blog.

kellypea March 16, 2008 um 8:47 am

Wow, Helene, when you throw a party, you really throw one! Sounds like a lovely book. Thanks for sharing some of the recipes!

p.s. When are you going to write YOUR cookbook? Hmmmmm….?

m3rni3 March 16, 2008 um 9:13 am

i’d love to own a copy of that book .. 😉

ooh .. and that carrot cake looks yummy *drools*

Katie March 16, 2008 um 9:22 am

Wow the book sounds fantastic and jam packed full of yummy recipes. The carrot cake you made looks lovely and moist

Anonymous March 16, 2008 um 9:25 am

Pick Me! Pick Me! pls let me win! just got myself a KitchenAid!! This book will DEFINATELY be put into use!!

Adi March 16, 2008 um 10:31 am

Thank you so much for a wonderful blog: great recipes, stories and pictures. Hope to win in the giveaway…

Suzana March 16, 2008 um 11:25 am

I would leave a comment anyway when you mentioned 'Sweet Potato Bread' but the book looks and sounds great. Do sign me in!

Tracy March 16, 2008 um 12:53 pm

the chestnut honey madeleines sound like something i’d love to try!

Kat March 16, 2008 um 12:56 pm

Your enthusiasm is infectious. Can’t wait to start baking.

Dharm March 16, 2008 um 1:10 pm

Those cakes look divine! Finally had some quiet time and decided I’d better check out my friend Helene’s blog – what a surprise that you are giving away a book!! Hope you are well. Take care now.

Kira March 16, 2008 um 1:33 pm

Sounds delicious! I would love this book!

Bakemama March 16, 2008 um 1:40 pm

Great review, and I love your blog. I’d buy this book anyway! Can’t wait to try the blueberry creations!

Pittsburgh Needs Eated March 16, 2008 um 2:02 pm

I’d love a copy.

Thanks for your nice comments regarding the key lime tartlets. I love Maury Rubin’s book- I bought it a few years ago and I love the simple garnishes he uses. They all look so classy!

Half Baked March 16, 2008 um 2:07 pm

What a great cookbook. I’m going to make those blueberry muffins soon! All the recipes sound wonderful!

Jessica March 16, 2008 um 2:16 pm

That carrot cake looks like the be-all, end-all of carrot cakes. May I have the baking book? Please?

giz March 16, 2008 um 2:26 pm

Both the muffins and the cake look delicious. To me it doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or a seasoned baker – easy recipes make for less chaos and a more predictable final product. I love both of these.

Cheryl March 16, 2008 um 2:41 pm

I just discovered your Blog and I am impressed! I looking forward to reading your future postings!

Ginny March 16, 2008 um 3:12 pm

The carrot cake looks amazing! I am very intrigued by this book…I love the chapter headings!

Lisa Johnson March 16, 2008 um 3:17 pm

I would so love this cookbook!!! : )

Anonymous March 16, 2008 um 3:27 pm

the book seems absolutely fantastic!

LyB March 16, 2008 um 3:32 pm

That carrot cakes looks just divine! I love the idea of orange zest in the frosting, yummy!

Anonymous March 16, 2008 um 3:46 pm

ooo that carrot cake looks delicious!

Sigrid March 16, 2008 um 3:51 pm

I definitely must give this carrot cake a try!! 😉

Anonymous March 16, 2008 um 4:11 pm

This book sounds absolutely wonderful! All those recipes sound just delicious, and I can’t wait to see the Lemon Blueberry Buttermilk Pie…that sounds amazing! 🙂

chem March 16, 2008 um 4:30 pm

The Lemon Blueberry Buttermilk Pie really got me!

Chico March 16, 2008 um 4:34 pm

Hi Tartelette,

I love your blog!specially your photos are beautiful and I want to try many recipes.
That book sounds very interesting to me. Pick me!

sarachka March 16, 2008 um 6:08 pm

Hello random number generator, it’s my turn!

Anonymous March 16, 2008 um 6:47 pm

Oh I want to make what you just made, along with the cashew bars too! I’m closing my eyes now, crossing my fingers and wishing, hoping, wishing, hoping….

Ms SnS March 16, 2008 um 6:48 pm

No, it’s my turn! I hope!

Unknown March 16, 2008 um 6:52 pm

Hi Helene,

The pile of recipes from your blog just keeps growing and growing. I thought I had found the perfect carrot cake thanks to Dorie Greenspan but I am gonna try the one you posted here, you can never have enough carrot cake recipes.
Love and regards 🙂

Emily March 16, 2008 um 7:11 pm

That carrot cake looks SO moist. I’m tempted to make it for Easter. I like carrot cake with pineapple and raisins, but I’m not opposed to it without. I bet it was easier to slice. I think this carrot cake would please more people.

The blueberry muffins look nice, also. Maybe I could use up one of my Meyers with this recipe.

Neha March 16, 2008 um 7:20 pm

Dear Random Number Generator God,
Please pick me. If you do, I promise to make Melissa’s Carrot Cake and share it with you. 🙂

Anonymous March 16, 2008 um 7:51 pm

Great Blueberry muffin recipie, thanks for sharing.


Unknown March 16, 2008 um 7:57 pm

The recipe for carrot cake sounds delicious. I really need to try and make that sometime soon…

Melly March 16, 2008 um 8:28 pm

Thanks in advance for picking me. I really enjoy your blog, keep up the good work.

Cheryl March 16, 2008 um 9:00 pm

Oooo, those blueberry muffins look yummy! Now all I have to do is get some blueberries! Would love to own one of those books, thanks for the chance!

Laura's mom March 16, 2008 um 9:04 pm

I would definitely make the carrot cake.

Laura's mom March 16, 2008 um 9:04 pm

I would definitely make the carrot cake.

Greenjoycie March 16, 2008 um 9:27 pm

all these recipes sounds lovely. I would love to win this book.

Greenjoycie March 16, 2008 um 9:27 pm

all these recipes sounds lovely. I would love to win this book.

Meryl March 16, 2008 um 9:39 pm

I love your blog and recipes, and the book sounds great!

Unknown March 16, 2008 um 9:43 pm

Carrot cake is my absolute favorite! The earl grey truffles and Guinness gingerbread also sound yummy! It would be awesome to win this book. =)

Anonymous March 16, 2008 um 9:46 pm

The blueberry muffin and carrot cake recipes are on my to do list. Carrot cake is my husbands favorite vegetable ;+) Steph

Mallow March 16, 2008 um 9:48 pm

Yeah – I’m with Meg – when ARE you going to write a cookbook?

Blue March 16, 2008 um 9:48 pm

I love Sweet Melissa. Your stuff always looks so delicious, I can’t decide which I’d like to eat first.

Annemarie March 16, 2008 um 9:59 pm

Wow – quite a response to the giveaway! And I was attracted by the muffins in the first place. You do a great job of convincing me this book has a place on my shelf.

Anonymous March 16, 2008 um 10:40 pm

Thanks for sharing some of the recipes you made — i’ll toss my hat in the ring for one of those books! 🙂

Harriet March 16, 2008 um 10:42 pm

Recipes sound wonderful. If not picked to win book, how may I purchase the book/books?
[email protected]

Frood Bird March 16, 2008 um 10:43 pm

mmm everything you described sounds so tasty! I wouldn’t mind one of those books. 🙂

Ag March 16, 2008 um 10:47 pm

I LOVE MUFFINS! Haha, and I’ve been a longtime fan of your blog (I tried your lemon cake and it was fantastic).

Lorilei March 16, 2008 um 11:05 pm

The carrot cake looks great! I will try it soon. Keep up the wonderful recipes and pic’s.

Anonymous March 16, 2008 um 11:06 pm

Looks great!

Cookie baker Lynn March 16, 2008 um 11:25 pm

This book sounds wonderful! I’d definitely try the chocolate malted layer cake for my husband, too.

Unknown March 16, 2008 um 11:47 pm

yum i love carrot cake!

Ri March 16, 2008 um 11:55 pm

Sweet Melissa is lovely. Can’t wait to see the results and more recipe trials!

Anonymous March 17, 2008 um 12:02 am

So funny! I made carrot cake this weekend too. I love the idea of the little carrots on top, though. I’ll have to try that! 🙂

Zakia / Avenue Z Desserts March 17, 2008 um 12:04 am

Im a fan of sweet melissa. Im happy she put out a cookbook. chocolate malted cake sounds delicious. either way this book will definitely be added to my collection.

Unknown March 17, 2008 um 12:05 am

This really sounds like a fabulous book. The carrot cake, the sweet potato bread.


I love your site and have used a bunch of your recipes and more importantly your techniques. Thanks for keeping it going.


Cindy March 17, 2008 um 12:13 am

I love your blog. The book sounds wonderful.

Anonymous March 17, 2008 um 12:34 am

I’ve never tried muffins with heavy cream – definitely worth a shot! Thanks for the review and recipes.

someonecares March 17, 2008 um 12:40 am

Got any recipe in the book that has sweet potato? Thanks!

Anonymous March 17, 2008 um 12:45 am

Hey Girl, I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now, and I recently started a blog of my own. I added a link to your page, and I was just making sure it was fine with you.


.vivian. March 17, 2008 um 12:57 am

This comment has been removed by the author.

.vivian. March 17, 2008 um 12:57 am

omg, food and prizes! your blog just keeps getting better and better. that carrot cake looks uh-mazing!!!

Kourtney March 17, 2008 um 1:30 am

The carrot cake looks divine!! I will defiently be looking into this book even if I am not one of the lucky winners

Anonymous March 17, 2008 um 1:41 am

For those of you who would like to buy the book, you can go to my website,, click on the book, and you have a choice of links to choose from.. Thank you again for your support- gotta go- making a LOT of irish soda bread tomorrow! p.s- I mentioned some recipes to try, and I have a hard time choosing favorites- but if you have the book, you MUST try the chocolate espresso cheesecake. It is- umm- insanely good. It’s a hide in the closet and eat it all kind of delicious. The texture is unlike anything I’ve ever had. It really might just be my favorite thing.

MusicCityMissy March 17, 2008 um 2:00 am

Life is short – eat dessert first! And this is just more proof of why you should eat dessert first.

Unknown March 17, 2008 um 2:26 am

whoops! I’m late for the book! I just love to eat carrot cake. I thought it was a chocolate version. I was wondering what you think of chocolate carrot cake. Lucky 5 people to get the book! Congrats to everyone who get it!

Jenny March 17, 2008 um 2:30 am

Ack! I almost missed it because of a busy weekend and no blog reading.
I want the recipe for the front cover recipe – that looks amazingly like something I would enjoy.

Anonymous March 17, 2008 um 2:45 am

WOW – that cookbook sounds awesome!!
Thanks 🙂
jessymorse5 at yahoo dot com

Anonymous March 17, 2008 um 2:52 am

This sounds like a great cookbook. Thanks for offering it to one of us lucky readers.

Carrot cake is one of my faves.

Marilyn B March 17, 2008 um 3:15 am

Oooh, I LOVE Carrot Cake and that one there sure looks yummy. I am a cookbook fanatic and would love to win one to add to my collection so count me in to please. Thank you!

Take Care,

Anonymous March 17, 2008 um 3:16 am

woah~ that’s so generous of u and your sponsors! Thanks for the nice book giveaways! 😀


Katie B. March 17, 2008 um 3:19 am

Looks like you had a great time baking your way through this book! Thanks for sharing!

Topher March 17, 2008 um 3:20 am

mmmmm….sounds good

Better late than never I guess

Steph March 17, 2008 um 3:26 am

Wow, everything looks amazing! The book looks delicous!

Unknown March 17, 2008 um 3:34 am

Wow, this book looks amazing. I’ll definitely have to check it out.

Sounds perfect for a relative baking noob.

Tammy March 17, 2008 um 3:48 am

the books sounds wonderful!!!! I am happy to pay postage if I was a lucky winner (I live in NZ)

monica March 17, 2008 um 3:51 am

mmmm those muffins look fantastic! light and fluffy yet thick and densely studded with blueberries. i’ve been wanting to visit the bakery for quite some time, but wow the book would be even better!

oh and 194 comments…geez helen am i impressed! 🙂

Anonymous March 17, 2008 um 3:58 am

pick me! I love your site!

Anonymous March 17, 2008 um 4:04 am

You should place some refreshments in your comment room for when it gets that crowded. haha.

It almost looks like there is a cookbook giveaway or something like that. 🙂

AgnesMo March 17, 2008 um 4:12 am

ooh ooh me please.

Anonymous March 17, 2008 um 4:38 am

my first recipe book please!

Anonymous March 17, 2008 um 5:10 am

ummm..yummy carrot cake…. from maine

spectregirl March 17, 2008 um 5:11 am

Lemon. Blueberry. Buttermilk. Pie.

’nuff said. 🙂

Anonymous March 17, 2008 um 6:18 am

Count me in!
Sounds lovely enough to make me de-lurk. 😉

Mich March 17, 2008 um 6:57 am

:: fingers crossed, fingers crossed :: Now I have that song stuck in my head …..

Jaxon March 17, 2008 um 7:14 am

I like the sound of Fallen Chocolate Souffle Cake. And I really like the sound of free cookbooks. Crossing fingers for good luck!

Lilly March 17, 2008 um 8:21 am

It looks so tasty. My bf loves carrot cake. I should make it for him sometime.

Rachelle S March 17, 2008 um 9:02 am

Yum! I love blueberry muffins, and carrot cake! That frosting sounds wonderful with the orange zest!

leeyuen March 17, 2008 um 9:21 am

You have a gorgeous blog 🙂
I just got some lovely fresh blueberries and will be trying out your recipe for Blueberry Muffins. Wish me luck!


kleine March 17, 2008 um 10:23 am

I hope I 'm not too late!

-yw- March 17, 2008 um 10:40 am

Lemon Blueberry Buttermilk Pie?! Oh my gosh I’m dying here.. Any chance of sending the book to singapore?

Mari March 17, 2008 um 11:34 am

Wowsa! It’s give-away-tastic over here!

Thanks for introducing a cookbook and bakery that I didn’t know before hand.

jessicajlee March 17, 2008 um 11:38 am

Why is that bumble bee so adorable!?

Madam Chow March 17, 2008 um 12:04 pm

Even more recipes to add to my "to-bake" list!

Di March 17, 2008 um 12:50 pm

Wow, that looks like a great cookbook. And your pictures are lovely, as always.

Anonymous March 17, 2008 um 12:56 pm

This carrot cake sounds perfect for Easter. Beautiful photos!


Anonymous March 17, 2008 um 1:33 pm

Yum yum and yum! I have bookmarked the cashew bars and now I think the carrot cake will need to go on my 'to do' list!

Rachel March 17, 2008 um 1:34 pm

yay! i love your site!

Anonymous March 17, 2008 um 1:47 pm

Hmmm, I could always do with a new cookbook!
Love the blog.

Unknown March 17, 2008 um 2:06 pm

I would adore the book. your recipes always sound so very, very yummy.


Anonymous March 17, 2008 um 2:07 pm

That muffin looks absolutely delicious. Please let me win the book! -Jessica

Susannah March 17, 2008 um 2:13 pm

I’ve been looking for a tested carrot cake recipe, but there are too many variations to choose from. Thanks for your help!

Suze March 17, 2008 um 2:17 pm

sounds like a cookbook I’d love to have!!!

Caroline March 17, 2008 um 2:51 pm

I’ve had my eye on this book since I saw it on the pre-orders list. Now that i’ve read your review, I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy ASAP!

emily March 17, 2008 um 2:53 pm

I just read about this book- looks fabulous! Your creations look scrumptious, as always!

Dani March 17, 2008 um 3:08 pm

Ohh, lovely! I’ve heard this a great cookbook! Please count me in on the giveaway 🙂

kleine March 17, 2008 um 3:27 pm

i hope it stills count,

Anonymous March 17, 2008 um 3:38 pm

Oh my. . . that all looks so tasty! Thanks for the giveaway!

Megan March 17, 2008 um 3:40 pm

Every thing in this cookbook sounds delicious.
Random generator-Pick my number!!!

Anonymous March 17, 2008 um 3:45 pm

Nice looking cupcakes and carrot cake. Want to have a copy of the book too.

BellaLovesPink March 17, 2008 um 3:57 pm

It all sounds so delish!! Count me in for the book giveaway!


GwenMarieDC March 17, 2008 um 4:16 pm

oh Oh Pick Me! This book sounds HEAVENLY! Happy Baking!

Patricia Scarpin March 17, 2008 um 4:20 pm

That carrot cake is so different from the one we make here!
And I haven’t baked muffins in forever, Helen. You are inspiring!

Adrianna March 17, 2008 um 4:32 pm

i’ve been searching for a good carrot cake recipe to try, this one looks great!

rhid March 17, 2008 um 4:59 pm

I’d love to try some recipes from the book! The carrot cake looks scrumptious!

Anonymous March 17, 2008 um 5:02 pm

it looks really yummy and I can’t wait to get my hands on the book! 🙂

Anonymous March 17, 2008 um 5:05 pm

1. i want to make those cashew bars


2. i need this book!

Unknown March 17, 2008 um 5:19 pm

Sour Cherry Pie with Pistachoi crumble?! Earl Grey Truffles? Oh sweet goodness! Wish I’d known about Melissa’s when I was in NY last year.

Anonymous March 17, 2008 um 5:25 pm

I want that book!!! Pleaaase!!!

Anonymous March 17, 2008 um 5:30 pm

Yum! Wonderful looking sweets!

Anonymous March 17, 2008 um 5:57 pm

What a nice looking book! I’d love to have a copy!

Mansi March 17, 2008 um 6:08 pm

those look awesome T, and so does the book:)

Deborah March 17, 2008 um 6:14 pm

Wow – look at what happens when I am away from the computer for a weekend – 240 comments so far!! I have actually added this book to the want list after seeing those cashew bars…

Stephanie C. March 17, 2008 um 6:16 pm

I must have this book, it looks amazing!

Dolores March 17, 2008 um 6:32 pm

Thanks for pointing me toward another must-have for my growing collection of baking books. 🙂

Mary March 17, 2008 um 6:34 pm

That carrot cake looks excellent. This post makes me wnat to run out and buy this book 🙂

Anonymous March 17, 2008 um 6:40 pm

Oh, I would love to own a copy of this book! Pick me – Sandy from Cincinnati

I am LoW March 17, 2008 um 6:48 pm

It’s only nine minutes until three!!! Ack! 🙂

Anonymous March 17, 2008 um 7:10 pm

Love your blog..
first time posting! =)
sounds like a great book!!!

Irene March 17, 2008 um 7:17 pm

Pick me, pick me!!!!

Maria March 17, 2008 um 8:51 pm

Pick me!! Everything looks delicious!

Unknown March 17, 2008 um 9:37 pm

I can’t wait to try the carrot cake recipe. I like the idea of orange zest in the cream cheese frosting. yummy!

Unknown March 17, 2008 um 9:37 pm

I can’t wait to try the carrot cake recipe. I like the idea of orange zest in the cream cheese frosting. yummy!

Stru March 17, 2008 um 11:35 pm

don’t know if it’s past 3pm your time, but i sure hope not!!

Lilly March 18, 2008 um 1:06 am

This comment has been removed by the author.

Chris The Baker March 18, 2008 um 1:45 am

The carrot cake looks real moist. I could just sink my teeth in one of those right now…for breakfast!

Lizzie March 18, 2008 um 2:10 am

fallen chocolate souffle cake? oh how wonderful that sounds! count me in!

Anonymous March 18, 2008 um 2:35 am

This book looks fantastic!

Erilyn March 18, 2008 um 2:40 am

Please pick me! I love your blog, the recipes, the photos and the way you write – so easy to just drool! and it would be so great to have a recipe book for all the yummy bakery food we love to try when we visit, especially if you have endorsed it.

PAT A BAKE March 18, 2008 um 2:48 am

Wow ! When I log in the first place I visit is your blog. Never mind if I’m a novice, feel that a wee, wee, wee expertise may someday rub on me. Great looking carrot cake…and yesssss I need the book too !!!!!

smoykim March 18, 2008 um 3:13 am

Wow, that carrot cake looks dense and rich. Hope you post the Chocolate Malted Layer Cake-it sounds yummy!

Vicki March 18, 2008 um 3:27 am

I don’t think I’ve ever eaten carrot cake. How the heck did that happen?

Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict….You Decide March 18, 2008 um 4:16 am

Holy Frick……I love carrot cake and that one looks stupendous!!! Pick Me Pick Me Pick Me

Anonymous March 18, 2008 um 4:31 am

Great recipes. Thanks for sharing. The Chocolate Malted Layer Cake is the one I am going to shoot for if I win.
Thanks for the giveaway.

Be Somebody! March 18, 2008 um 5:27 am

Why don’t I already have this cookbook?! I’m clearly missing out on a treasure trove of incredible recipes!

Anonymous March 18, 2008 um 11:34 am

I just stumbled into your blog and am enjoying reading up on the entries.

I hope I win. 🙂

Susan from Food Blogga March 20, 2008 um 12:49 am

Did you say Sweet Potato Bread With Cinnamon Rum Glaze? Oh, my. Even if I don’t win it, I’ll have to buy it just for that recipe.

jeanine March 21, 2008 um 12:01 am

This comment has been removed by the author.

jeanine March 21, 2008 um 12:03 am

i LOVE carrot cake. and the song "sweet melissa!" 🙂

Chris The Baker March 21, 2008 um 3:38 pm

You have so many comments on your posts that I wonder if you actually do read them all! :0) Anyways, just wanted you to know that I tried that carrot cake recipe – less half the sugar, included some pineapple & raisins – and it turned out beautiful! It was the yummy picture that got me. I’m not a fan of carrot cake, but this one’s very good. It’s a winner, a keeper, and something my Hubs is currently enjoying for supper! Thanks for sharing. :0)

Anonymous March 21, 2008 um 9:22 pm

i am new to this site and thrilled to have found it. yummy pictures!those blue cookies normally would be disturbing but you pulled it off!

Jaime March 22, 2008 um 3:50 am

i’m so sad i missed out on this giveaway! have been so busy at work…

what a cute carrot cake 🙂

Jill F. Miller March 24, 2008 um 12:03 am

I baked your mentioned carrot cake for today’s Easter lunch…DELICIOUS! Thanks for the recipe!

Jennifer March 24, 2008 um 5:23 pm

Hi, I’ve seen mention of this book all over the web and it looks fabulous. Baking is my favorite form of cooking.

Elsye March 30, 2008 um 6:51 am

looks like terrific book for baking. I would love to have one. The blueberry muffin looks very very delicious. yummmyyyy..

stargirl August 21, 2010 um 8:24 am

hi tartelette, may i know what oil you used? i suppose olive oil would give the cake a nice flavor but i read somewhere that it might be a little heavy. thanks!

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