Birthday Cake Flavored Cheesecake

Originally posted 2016

Of course no one else has to make it sugar free if they don't want to.
Use regular sugar, a regular cake mix and put a regular graham cracker or sugar cookie crust on this baby and you've got it made.

I wasn't going to use any crust at all (crustless cheesecakes are no big deal with you are used to eating sugar free and/or low carb) but I remembered I had some of my sugar free, low carb 'sugar' cookies in the deep freezer just hanging out waiting for a use; 15 cookies later they were in the food processor and boom!  We have a crust.

Amounts don't specifically matter!  As I said, I made this to use up some ingredients in the refrigerator.  I'm putting down the approximate amounts but if you use a little more, a little less; it won't matter.  Taste test if you want.

Sugar Free Birthday Cake Cheesecake

2 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, soft
2/3 c sweetener of choice (I used Ideal mixed with Truvia and guessed at the amount)
1/4 t Lorann Princess Cake flavoring
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 c heavy cream
3/4 c dry cake mix from the package
1/2 c half and half or milk

sprinkles (these have sugar in them but you don't have to use many if you don't want to or you could make sugar free)
Crust if you wish to use one or make one

If you are using crust, whirl your graham crackers or about 12-15 cookies of your choice in a food processor to get about a cup of crumbs.  I did not want to take the time to make a hard crust so I just dumped them into the pan knowing they would stay crumbs, which I was fine with.  You can add 2 T butter to yours, and bake at 350 about 10 minutes and let cool before adding the cheesecake filling if you wish.

In a mixing bowl beat the cream cheese with the sweetener and the princess flavoring and vanilla until smooth.  Scrape down the bowl.  Add a bit of the whipping cream and start the mixer on low (trying to cut down on splatters).  Keep pouring in the rest of the cream and half and half.  Then increase the speed to a medium/high like you usually use to whip.  Within about 1 minute it should be whipped to stiff peaks.  Add the cake mix and mix on low just until blended. I just dumped some in - going to guess it was about 3/4 cup-ish.  One cake mix can make about 3 of these cheesecakes. Save the rest of the dry mix for another time.  

At this point mine got really thick so I used about 1/3 c half and half to thin it out just a little bit.  Use your half and half or milk for this purpose if it's super thick, to get it to a nice thick batter more like stiff peak whipped cream.  Mix in some sprinkles if you wish at this point to make it rainbow sprinkled all the way through or you can leave it white and put the sprinkles only on top.  Up to you!

Scoop into the springform pan over your crust if using.  Smooth the top.  Top with sprinkles of your choice - as heavy or light as you like.  Now chill for at least 6 hours or freeze for about 2 hours and then move to the refrigerator until serving time.  If you can make this 1 day a ahead that is best!  It will set up beautifully and the taste really has a chance to mix through the entire cheesecake. 

Brainstorming what I could make with some leftovers from the refrigerator to use up and a cake mix.

I decided to use some low carb, sugar free cookies I had in the deep freezer for a quick crumb crust.  Recipe down below if you wish or use whatever graham crackers or cookies you wish!

Whipped cream and cream cheese before adding the cake mix.

Scoopable... not a real thick batter but not thin or pourable either.  "Scoopable" and "spreadable" is about right.

Here comes the pretties!

Scoop into the springform pan (I didn't spray mine and it came out perfectly after freezing/chilling).

Ready to add the rest of the pretties on top and then chill.

I wanted it to be set up in time for dinner in a few hours so I put it in the freezer for about 2 hours.  It went into the refrigerator after that.  Set up beautifully.

This is actually the snapchat I sent my family - that's why you see text on the photo.


Reposting this here just because it's the cookie I had in the freezer and used about 14 or 15 of them to make a crumb crust for the cheesecake.   If you can, make these a day ahead of time.  I found the taste improved even more after I stored the finished cookies in the refrigerator all night.

A wheat free, sugar free 'sugar' cookie!

1/4 c butter
1/4 c cream cheese
1/3 c Ideal baking sweetener
2 T Just Like Sugar baking sweetener
1 egg, beaten
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 c coconut flour (scant)
1 3/4 c almond flour
1 scoop vanilla whey powder
1/4 t xanthan gum

Cream the butter and cream cheese with the sweeteners and vanilla.  Add half of the beaten egg. Beat in the dry ingredients.  Chill in the refrigerator.  Preheat your oven to 350.  Roll the dough between parchment paper dusted with a bit of vanilla protein powder or coconut flour.  Cut out shapes.  The dough is delicate so carefully transfer to your baking sheet.  I used a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake about 12 minutes until the edges are turning golden brown.  Carefully flip each cookie over and continue to bake an additional 3-4 minutes until the cookie is more firm and golden on the second side.  After cooling for 2-3 minutes on the pan, remove to a wire rack so they can cool completely.  Frost with your favorite sugar free frosting. 

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Elegant Garlic Herb Pull Apart Bread

Originally posted in 2014

Baked and ready to serve

Originally posted in 2014, it's a beautiful change when you want to serve garlic bread with your meal but want something different.  This dough is a nice dough to work with but the recipe is enough for two baked goods; so you could make 2 pans of elegant pull apart bread or use the second half for something like a regular loaf of bread, rolls or hamburger buns.  Or just half the recipe when you are making it.

I baked this one in my solar oven although yes, most people, including me, typically bake it in the oven. 

Elegant Garlic Herb Pull Apart Bread

4 1/2 t - (2 pkg.)  active, dry yeast
1/2 c warm water
1 t sugar
1/3 c additional sugar
1 1/4 c warm milk
1/2 c butter, melted
2 eggs
1 t salt
6 c flour (additional 1 cup on stand by)
1-2 T fresh, minced garlic
2 T fresh, chopped parsley or 2 t dried
1 t garlic salt (optional - cut out if you need to cut down on salt)
4 T butter, soft

In a large mixing bowl, place the yeast and warm water with the 1 teaspoon sugar.  Stir gently and let set about 1 minute to dissolve.  Add the milk, melted butter, eggs, salt, 1/3 c sugar and about 3-4 cups flour.  Stir by hand or use your bread dough hook on the electric mixer and stir to form a soft dough starting with 3 cups flour and adding more to get the dough to form.  This should be a total of about 6 cups.   Knead by hand on a floured board 6-8 minutes or by mixer with dough hook, about 4-5 minutes.  In a greased bowl, turn once to cover the dough with oil or grease, cover and let raise until doubled in height.  This could be 25 minutes to an hour or more depending on how warm the area you are letting it raise is.

Punch down dough and place on a floured surface.  Divide dough into 4 portions.  The bread I made above was using just 2 dough portions of the dough and using the other two for something else.

Roll each portion into a rectangle about 14 inches by 6 inches.  Spread about 2 tablespoons of the butter over the rectangle and use half your garlic, garlic salt and parsley to sprinkle over the dough.   Fold the dough up accordion style (back and forth, back and forth) about every 2 inches.  Cut the folded dough into slices about 1 1/2 inches wide with a very sharp knife.  Place them standing up in a round, greased pan with the folds showing upwards.  Continue with your dough to fill a round circle in the pan.

Cover loosely and let raise in a warm place about 15-20 minutes just until it starts to raise and get puffy.  Bake at 375 degrees about 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and the bread is done.  Let cool about 3 minutes in the pan before turning out to a wire rack.  Let cool about 5-10 minutes before serving warm.

A nice, tender bread dough
Rolling out to a rectangle shape
Covering with fresh, minced garlic, garlic salt and parsley

Folded accordion style and sliced

Placed in a greased baking pan to form a ring

Let raise

Baked and ready to serve


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A Classic Homemade Bread Dough for Homemade Bread, Pizza, Buns or Rolls

Originally posted in September, 2013

The smell of things like apple pie, homemade bread and cookies baking seems to go hand-in-hand with the Autumn season.  So, I'm re-posting this one because with so many recipes on my site, it's easy to lose track of them, and easier to find them in the search box if they've been posted a couple times.

This is a recipe I fall back on whenever I want to make homemade bread or rolls for dinner and I don't want to have to think about it. It uses basic ingredients, can be mixed up in my bread machine or in my KitchenAid Mixer,or even by hand if I want to give my arm muscles a work out (which I don't usually, because I'm just lazy like that).

One thing I do with this basic recipe is substitute about 1/4 cup whole wheat flour sometimes.  You don't have to, but you can if you wish.  Use this dough not only for 2 loaves of bread, but use it for homemade rolls, hamburger buns, garlic and butter monkey bread or make cinnamon rolls out of it.

This particular time I baked the bread in my Global Sun Oven® but obviously you would be baking it either in your bread machine or in your oven.

Classic Homemade Bread or Rolls

12 oz. water, warm
1 1/2 t salt
2 T butter
4 c bread flour
2 T dry milk
2 T sugar
1 3/4 t yeast, dry

Put in your bread machine or your mixer bowl in this order.  Turn on your bread machine, or use the dough setting if you want to remove it and bake it in a sun oven or conventional oven.  If using your stand mixer, use the bread dough hook.  Knead for about 8 minutes.  Let rest to raise.  Take it out of the bowl, turn it out and make your bread, rolls, buns from it.  Let them raise until double in height.  Bake as you wish.  Bread will bake about 30 minutes at 375 degrees.  I baked them in the solar oven on a sunny day for about 45 - 50 minutes.  Bake longer if it's not a hot, sunny day.

The first raising

This recipe makes two loaves.  Form and put in a greased pan.

Let raise and then bake until done - about 30-35 minutes.

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Homemade Cream Horns - Made EASY and QUICK

I've been posting the recipe for cream horns (also can be called by some 'lady locks' or 'clothespin cookies') since 2007 (?) because they happen to be one of the few desserts I actually love - as I typically can pass up dessert in lieu of vegetables ANY day.  But cream horns?  Oh how I love them!  - I thought I'd post them again.  They are so easy and FAST to make using a puff pastry.

The reason the word "HousewifeBarbie" is so big on that photo is actually a not so funny story.

I originally posted this recipe and photo back in 2007 and then a few times after that as I love these so much.  One day, a reader of An American Housewife let me know that my photo (the photo above) had been stolen and was being used by someone else on Etsy who saying they were hers and selling cream horns to people using my photo. 

I am SO thankful for this random stranger who recognized my photo and let me know!  I then edited this photo and put in LARGE LETTERS my site name so they couldn't use it as theirs.   Since I'm still using that original photo (because it's already in my files) I thought I'd explain why the glaring, large HOUSEWIFEBARBIE.COM is so prominent on it.  It's because at the time I put it on, I was quite upset that someone was selling her baked goods using my photo.  

Note;  You WILL need a 'form' to make these. 

Quick and Easy Cream Horns
1 package Puff Pastry (2 to a package, makes about 32 total if you use both sheets)
1 recipe cream filling*
Sugar (or Xylitol or other natural sugar substitute) for sprinkling
  • Thaw the puff pastry according to directions.  I used just 1 of the two sheets and it makes about 15-16 cream horns so the whole package would make about 32.  
  • Preheat your oven to about 400 degrees.  Lay the puff pastry out on parchment paper (or lightly flour your counter).  Slice the pastry about every half-inch to make about 15 strips or if you want to make them larger, about 8 1-inch slices.  
  • Wrap one long strip of pastry around your mold.  Leave the large round end open without it overlapping to make removal easier later. I spray the tops with butter flavored Pam and then sprinkle with large crystals of sugar or Xylitol (available through my low carb product link at the top of the page).  
  • Bake on a lightly greased or non-stick baking sheet for about 10-12 minutes until golden brown and crisp.  While they are baking, mix up your favorite butter cream or other filling.  Removal from oven, remove from pan to a cooling rack and let cool completely.  Use a pastry bag with a large tip to squeeze filling into each horn.  These are wonderful if you can let them set up or even refrigerate them to chill the filling but they are delicious eaten immediately too!  

Fillings: If you want them to be like the ones you purchase in the grocery store or typical bakery, this filling is it.  Some people prefer to use just a whipped cream filling of various styles, which is fine!  But this is a cross between a whipped cream and butter cream - which means it holds up well at room temperature - no problem.  

Use whatever filling you like.

Filling (halve this recipe for the recipe above)

1 c Crisco
1 c butter
4 c powdered sugar
4 t vanilla
3/4 c marshmallow creme

Cream the Crisco and butter. Add the sugar gradually and then the marshmallow creme and vanilla. Beat well until it's smooth like whipped cream. Fill cooled or chilled cream horn forms. Does not need to be refrigerated for storage.  

Makes homemade cream puffs effortless

Wrapping around a form

Sprinkled with Xylitol or Sugar and ready to bake

Mix up your filling

Baked golden brown

Leave the end open so you can slide it right off the form




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The Best Low Carb, Sugar Free, Wheat Free Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

Although I've posted this recipe before, it's just SO GOOD that even though I'm fine with posting it again for those who missed it the first time; it's also the kind of recipe that I play with a little bit so this time around it's similar to the time I posted in 2017 but different.

The first thing that is different about this version is that one of the original products I used for a few years isn't being made anymore and that is a really good quality brown sugar style natural sweetener.  I use 1 teaspoon of a good quality molasses mixed into the topping which makes the white sugar style natural sweetener into 'brown' and gives it the flavor you want with the cinnamon in this cake.  The teaspoon of molasses has 4 grams sugar - but remember you aren't eating it that way.  It's mixed into the topping which is then sprinkled and mixed around the entire cake - which is 12+ pieces.

The second thing changed in this version is I used up the last of my pecans this week (snacking on them... yum!) so I used almonds in this version.  So good.  So, so good.

 Cinnamon Coffee Cake

3 c  fine grained almond flour 
1/3 c whey protein powder - vanilla or unflavored (I only use IsoPure, can't speak to the quality of any other brand)
1 T good quality coconut flour is totally optional - I used it this time to thicken up the batter a bit
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 1/3 sticks real butter
3/4 c mixture of granulated natural sweeteners of your choice
1/2 t liquid sweetener drops like Sucrarose, etc.
3 eggs
1 1/2 t vanilla
1/2 c unsweetened almond milk

3 T Ideal or other granular sweetener
1 t molasses
2 t cinnamon
2 T real butter
1/4 c blanched and sliced almonds

Grease or line a 9" pan with parchment.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Put the dry ingredients into a large bowl; almond flour, whey protein powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt.

Mix together the topping/filling mixture of the white sweeteners, molasses and cinnamon in a small bowl and blend until all mixed together well. Don't add the butter or almonds to it yet. Set aside.

Mix butter and sweeteners until fluffy, add eggs one at at time and beat briefly between each.  Beat in vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients alternating with the almond milk.  Put half the cake batter into the pan.  Cover with about 2/3 of your 'brown sugar like' sweetener mixture.  Top with the rest of the batter.

Now add the 2 T butter and 1/4 almonds to the remaining cinnamon mixture and smash it with your fingers or a rubber scraper to blend and make a paste of sorts.  Top the batter with this streusel mixture and bake in the oven for about 35 minutes.  At this point your cake might be done, but I find almond flour baked goods need a little longer and the cake may start to be too brown on top.  If your cake is still a bit too wet in the center or jiggles, yet the top is getting browned, cover with foil and bake about 5-10 minutes more; turn off the oven and let it for about 5-10 minutes more, checking to see if the center of your cake is set and done.  My oven bakes this cake in a 9" round pan for 35 minutes at 350, cover with foil, turn off the oven and leave for another 10-12 minutes and it's perfectly done.

Remove from oven and let cool completely.  This is incredibly moist and so delicious!

A close up of how moist and awesome this is!!!

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Product Review: Rustic Bedding! Bear and Moose Lodge Themed Quilt Set

Our family has lived all over the United States and enjoyed seeing, adapting and living the differences in states and regions when it comes to foods, fads, fashions, slang and accents; even things like housing structures, buildings, landscaping and decorating.

When I was asked to review the Black Bear Lodge Quilt Set on my website, I smiled as memories of one of our previous homes came rushing back.

The 'lodge' style decor is very popular where we used to live 'up North' in Minnesota - just a hop, skip and jump from the Canadian border. Our home decor included faux stone walls and green plaid borders, a lot of moose and bear accents.  My favorite spot to sneak away to for a fancy coffee drink and 'me' time was a black bear themed lodge just down the road from our home that featured a coffee bar, restaurant and two-story gift shop to meander in when I needed "Mom Time" to myself.  This bedding was reminiscent of the rustic lodge life so popular there.  (The bedding I reviewed for the company is one of the many options in their 'Rustic Bedding' collection.  The Black Bear Lodge Set also has window panels and other coordinating pieces to match as well.)

The quilt set came in 3 different sizes; I chose the Full/Queen as it's a size that works well on most beds and I wasn't sure which room I'd be using it in.  You can see it's machine washable and comes in a protective plastic, zippered cover.

Many times when you purchase affordable and budget-conscientious bedding the quilt stitches are part of the print and are not actually sewed on.  Here is a close up of the stitches; not part of the printed design but are threaded stitches.

The design features both bears and moose in a background of vibrant yet 'rustic' colors including a golden yellow, rustic red and muted bright blue with pale green.  Finished size for the Full/Queen is 86" X 86".

The queen set came with two shams - easily placed over a pillow of your choice using ties to close the back side.

The bedding is thin, lightweight and made to be pretty more than 'warm' functional.  Because their prices are so great, you obviously aren't a quilt like Grandma makes; but these are machine washable so the care is easy and the bedding is 'no fuss'.  I found this set to be perfect for a guest room!  The prices are great for newlyweds or those just starting out in their own apartments that want coordinating pieces to finish the room but have to do so on a tight budget.

Although the rustic bedding I was given to review was the Black Bear Lodge pattern, they have many other patterns to choose from and I love the Colorado Lodge and the Antique Chic Throw they have!

You can check out all their  quilt sets here.

Thanks so much to for providing me with the Black Bear Lodge Quilt Set in return for posting my honest thoughts and opinions on my site.  


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The best homemade salsa (EASY and quick - made in a blender using either fresh tomatoes or canned, diced)

This recipe has become one of our go-to recipes for fresh salsa since about 2011 or so.  We have a couple different recipes we like but this one is one of my personal favorites and since I'm the one who is usually making the salsa for the meal, this is what I typically make.  I like that it uses ingredients from the pantry - like canned diced tomatoes, so I don't have to worry if we are out of tomatoes or not!  But if we do have them on hand I can use fresh - or I can a mixture of both canned and fresh.

Homemade Salsa in a  Blender

1 15 oz. (ish) can diced tomatoes or about 1 1/2 cups diced, fresh tomatoes
1 small can diced mild chilies
one small fresh jalapeno, or about 1 1/2 t from a jar of diced jalapeno's
1/4 c firmly packed fresh cilantro leaves or parsley leaves if you don't care for cilantro
1/4 c chopped red or yellow onion
1 T fresh lime juice
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t garlic, fresh minced
1/4 t salt

Place all ingredients in a blender - briefly pulse just 4 - 6 times for a smooth texture.  Cover and chill until serving. Serve with tortilla chips, with your favorite meal calling for salsa, etc. 

We like diced fresh avocado's with a dash of lime and sprinkle of salt served with it.  We scoop a piece of avocado and a scoop of salsa on our chip.  If we have time we may make guacamole but if we don't want to bother, this is awesome and those that don't care for guacamole or avocados don't have to have any and those of that do, gobble it up.

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