Life is what you bake of it


My name is Kara Kitchen, and I am a recent college graduate with my degree in Communications from Kean University.

While I did not go to school for baking and pastry, I have had a love for baking instilled in me from a young age after being inspired by my grandmother’s baked goods.

This website is designed to share the baked goods I make, as well as recipes I used to save for future use!

When I’m not baking, you can find me hanging out with my cats, or taking care of my many plants!

Strawberry Cheesecake

For The Crust:

•2 cups graham cracker crumbs, about 2 sleeves
•¼ cup granulated sugar
•6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For The Filling
•32 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
•1 ⅓ cups granulated sugar
•1 cup sour cream, room temperature
•1 tablespoon vanilla extract
•¼ teaspoon salt
•4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten

Strawberry Topping:
•16 ounces whole strawberries, diced for topping
•2 tablespoons cornstarch
•1 cup granulated sugar
•2 teaspoons vanilla extract
•⅛ teaspoon salt
•2 cups finely chopped strawberries

Make the Crust:
1. Move the oven rack to the lower third position and heat the oven to 350°F.
2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and about 2-inches up the sides of the pan.
3.Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool while you make the filling.

Make the Filling:
1. Reduce the oven temperature to 300ºF.
2. In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.
3. Add the sugar and sour cream, beat until well combined. Add the vanilla and salt, beat on low speed until smooth.
4. Using a silicone spatula, gently stir in the eggs just until combined.
5. Pour the batter over the prepared crust.
6. Bake for one hour
7. Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours or overnight after it has cooled and make the sauce about 1 hour before serving.

Make Strawberry Topping:
1. Add the diced strawberries and cornstarch to a blender and process until smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan and add the sugar.
2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened, about 15 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, salt, and chopped strawberries.
4. Set aside to cool

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

A Valentines Day Classic

10 oz Ghiradelli Melting Wafers : Milk Chocolate
10 oz Ghiradelli Melting Wafers: Vanilla White Chocolate
4 lb fresh strawberries (stems still attached, if possible)

Additional Toppings:

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
2. Wash strawberries and pat completely dry.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt desired melting wafers on half power for 30 second increments, stir until smooth.
3. Grab the strawberry by the stem and dip into the chocolate. Lift directly above the bowl and gently swirl the strawberry in circular motions to remove excess chocolate.
4. Place on prepared baking sheet. Garnish if desired, then let set until firm, about 5-10 minutes.

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

A Classic Treat for any Occasion!


•10 oz Ghiradelli Melting Wafers : Milk Chocolate
•10 oz Ghiradelli Melting Wafers: Vanilla White Chocolate
•Pretzel Rods

Additional Toppings (Optional):

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
2. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt desired melting wafers on half power for 30 second increments, stir until smooth.
3. Dip pretzel rods about 3 inches into melted morsels, tilting bowl to easily dip. Use side of bowl to remove excess
4. Sprinkle with toppings.

Place on prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until set. Store in airtight container at room temperature. Best when eaten within a few days.

Apple Snickerdoodle Muffins

A Fall Favorite!

Ingredients for Muffins.
•1 large apple peeled and chopped into small cubes
•1 tsp cinnamon (for apples)
•1/4 brown sugar packed (for apples)
•3 C. flour
•1 Tbsp. baking powder
•1 tsp. cream of tartar
•1 tsp cinnamon
•1 tsp. nutmeg
•3/4 tsp. salt
•1/2 C. brown sugar packed
•1/2 C. sugar
•1/2 C. vegetable oil
•2 eggs room temperature
•1 C. sour cream
•3 tsp. vanilla extract

Ingredients for Topping:
•1/4 C. sugar
•2 Tbsp. flour
•2 tsp. cinnamon
•3 Tbsp. butter room temperature

Ingredients for Glaze:
•2/3 C. powdered sugar
•1 Tbsp. milk

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line muffin tins with liners.
2. Topping: Combine all ingredients until they form a crumbly mixture. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, toss apple pieces with cinnamon and brown sugar. Set aside.
4. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
5. In a stand mixer, combine brown sugar, sugar, and oil. Add eggs one at a time until combined. Add in sour cream and vanilla extract and mix again.
6. Slowly add in dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Dump in your apple pieces and fold just until incorporated.
7. Fill muffin tins almost to top and bake for 5 minutes before decreasing temperature to 375 and let bake for an additional 12-16 minutes.
8. Let cool before glazing

Fudgey Crinkle Cookies

A MUST HAVE for Chocolate Lovers!

•1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
•1 cup white granulated sugar
•1/4 cup vegetable oil
•2 large eggs
•2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
•1 cup all purpose flour
•1 teaspoon baking powder
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•1/4 cup confectioner's sugar (for coating)


1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, white sugar and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs one at a time, until fully incorporated. Mix in the vanilla.
2. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet mixture just until a dough forms Cover bowl with wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours
3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F | 175°C. Line 2 cookie sheets or baking trays with parchment paper.
4. Roll 1 tablespoonful of dough into balls for smaller cookies, or 2 tablespoonfuls for larger cookies.
5. Add the confectioners sugar to a smaller bowl. Generously and evenly coat each ball of dough in confectioners' sugar and place onto prepared cookie sheets.
6. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes (for small cookies) or 12 minutes (for larger cookies)

3 Tiered Brownies: Cookie Dough, Oreo, Brownie

The Trio You Didn’t Know You Needed

•1 package refrigerated cookie dough, or your favorite homemade chocolate chip cookie dough
•12 oreos
•1 box brownie mix, plus ingredients called for on the box: oil, eggs etc.

Icing (Optional):
•1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
•1/2 cup heavy cream

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper cupcake cups.
2. Break the cookie dough into 12 tablespoon-size pieces and press into the paper cups in the muffin tin.
3. Add one oreo cookie to each muffin cup on top of the cookie dough.
4. Make the brownie batter according to the package directions.
5. Scoop or spoon 2-3 tablespoons of brownie batter on top of each oreo to cover completely to about 1/4-inch below the top of the paper cup.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes following the brownie package directions until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
7. During baking, make the icing: Microwave the cream for 30-40 seconds until hot. Whisk together with the chocolate chips until smooth.
8. Remove cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool for at 10-15 minutes.
9. Using a spoon or small spatula, spread a dollop of icing onto each cupcake. Serve and enjoy!

TIP: Change the flavors up by using flavored oreos such as peanut butter, or mint!

Easy Sugar Cookies

Classic Cutout Cookies

•3 cups all-purpose flour
•1 teaspoon baking powder
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1 cup sugar
•1 cup cold butter, cut into chunks
•1 large egg
•1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
•1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Topping Ideas.

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside
2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl; set aside.
3. Place sugar and butter into bowl. Beat at medium speed until well combined. Add egg, vanilla and almond extract; beat until well mixed. 4. Gradually add flour mixture, beating at low speed until just combined.
4. While removing dough from bowl, knead to incorporate crumbs and form smooth dough. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness.
5. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Add toppings if desired
6..Place onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes or until just beginning to brown around edges.
6. Cool on cookie sheet 2 minutes

Peach Blueberry Cobbler

A Summer Favorite!


3/4 cup butter cubed (6 oz)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups fresh peach slices *see note
1 cup fresh blueberries *see note
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup brown sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Add the cubed butter to a 9 x 13 inch baking dish or pan. Place the dish in the oven for a few minutes until the butter is melted.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the milk and vanilla extract and stir until smooth.
3. Pour the batter evenly over the melted butter in the pan (do not stir!). The melted butter will rise up over the batter.
4. Toss the peach slices and blueberries with the lemon juice and spread them evenly over the batter (again, do not stir).
5. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the top and and bake 40-50 minutes until the top is golden brown. Allow the cobbler to cool a few minutes before serving.

Banana Crumb Cake Muffins

Crumb Topping:
6 tablespoons butter, melted (if hot, cool before using)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed (I used dark brown)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour

3 overripe bananas, mashed
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda


Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Line muffin pan/s with muffin liners and set aside.

Crumb topping
1. In a medium-sized bowl combine butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

2. Add the flour and mix until fully incorporated. *Mixture will be mushy and this is normal! The next step will fix that.

3. Using a fork, continually mix until mixture is crumbly, breaking apart any overly large clumps as necessary (this will take a minute or two). Set aside.

1. In a large bowl combine bananas, sugar, cinnamon and salt.

2.Beat in the oil, eggs, and vanilla extract.

3. Add the flour and baking soda and gently mix until combined. Do not overmix!

4. the batter into the muffin pan filling the cups two-thirds of the way full.

5. Top each muffin with just enough crumb topping to fully cover the tops, gently pressing it into the batter as you go.

6. Bake for 15 – 16 minutes until the centers are fully baked and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

7. Cool in pan 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.