Category "Blog"

February 26, 2022

Sweet, Soulful Memories

by Keelie Banks

I’m always asked, “What is it that I love most about my desserts?” I guess it would be the sweet, soulful memories that fill each and every one. So many evoke countless, precious memories, but  the German chocolate cake featured above is especially near and dear to my heart. Growing up, it was the cornerstone at the dessert table at all of  my family gatherings. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and it was hands-down, the most requested cake for birthdays.

For my dessert first eating family, this cake wasn’t the final course; it was the main event. Good luck wrangling a piece if you showed up late, or even on time for that matter. Not much has changed; this cake, filled with so many delicious memories, still sits prominently on our dessert table, and if you blink, it’s gone!

Now, I am so excited to share the magic of this family favorite dessert with my customers. My sincerest hope is that your memories are as sweet as mine.


March 8, 2021

Snickers Lovers Cake

by Keelie Banks
1 comment
Blog, Cake, Sweet Treats

Your favorite childhood candy bar is transformed into a true decadent treat!

If you’re anything like me and love snicker bars, you’re going to go crazy over this cake! It’s everything you love about a snicker Bar reimagined as a super moist, decadent, chocolate layer cake. From the salted caramel frosting, right down to the nougat filling, this baby is exploding with flavor! Its one of those cakes you just can’t trust yourself around. Every time you walk into the kitchen you’ll find yourself nibbling on a piece. Usually I have more self-control, but when it comes to this cake I feel helpless. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t keep my grubby hands off of it. Trust me when I tell you this cake is not meant for casual consumption. Whip it up for a special occasion but by no means make it simply just because. Your waist line will pay dearly! I was fully aware that this cake is one of my weaknesses, however because it was my birthday I thought I’d bring this recipe out of retirement. And let me tell you, it was just as good as I remember! And let me tell you, I still have no self-control when it comes to this cake! Looks like this recipe is going back into the vault. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. The full delicious recipe is listed below. Bake it now, regret it later!

Pro tips…

  1. This cake is delicious, but doesn’t come together quickly. I highly suggest that you make the salted caramel sauce and frosting the day before making the cake layers, nougat filling and milk chocolate ganache.
  2. To fully enjoy this cake, let it sit out and warm up to room temperature before indulging into a slice.  It will be hard but I know you can do it.

2½ cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup + 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
3 eggs (at room temperature)
1½ cups buttermilk (at room temperature)
1½ cups strong black coffee (hot)
¾ cup vegetable oil
4½ teaspoons vanilla extract

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup evaporated milk
1½ cups marshmallow fluff
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups salted peanuts (roughly chopped)

½ cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
4 ounces cream cheese (at room temperature)
¼ cup salted caramel sauce
2 cups powdered sugar

8 ounces milk chocolate (finely chopped)
4 ounces ½ cup heavy cream

Additional salted caramel sauce
Chopped peanuts


  1. Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper, grease the parchment, then flour the insides of the pans, tapping out excess; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or large mixing bowl if you’re using a hand mixer), sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for an additional 20 seconds (the batter will be very thin).
  4. Divide the batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate the pans in the oven. Continue to bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs), about 12 more minutes. Cool the cakes (in the pans) on wire racks for 20 minutes, then carefully turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.
  5. Make the Nougat Filling: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and evaporated milk, stirring until dissolved, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and add the marshmallow fluff, peanut butter, and vanilla extract, stirring until completely smooth. Fold in the peanuts. Let the nougat mixture cool to room temperature before using it in the cake. You can do this leaving it at room temperature or you can pop it into the refrigerator to speed up the process. Be sure to give a stir occasionally as it cools.
  6. Make the Frosting: Beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed for 5 minutes (I like to use the whisk attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer, but it’s not necessary). Pour in the salted caramel and beat until combined. Reduce the speed to medium-low and slowly add the powdered sugar, a little at a time, until it has all been incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for an additional two to three minutes, until light and fluffy.
  7. Assemble the Cake: If your cakes baked up uneven or have domed on top, level off the tops. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Cover with half of the nougat filling and then spread a couple spoonfuls of the salted caramel sauce over top to evenly cover the nougat filling. Top with a second cake layer and cover with the remaining nougat filling and top with caramel sauce. Place the final cake layer on top face-down. Frost the cake with the salted caramel frosting, finishing it as smoothly as possible. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour, until the frosting is set.
  8. Make the Chocolate Ganache: While the cake chills, make the chocolate ganache. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl; set aside. Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and warm until it just comes to a boil. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. Begin whisking the mixture in the center, gradually working your way outward until the ganache is completely smooth. Set aside to cool, whisking occasionally, until it has thickened slightly, yet still a pourable consistency.
  9. Garnish the Cake: Transfer the ganache to a 2-cup measuring cup. Slowly pour the chocolate ganache into the center of the cake, letting it push itself outward and flow over the sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes, giving the ganache a chance to set up. To finish garnishing, drizzle some additional salted caramel sauce over the top and side of the cake, and top with chopped peanuts. Keep the cake refrigerated, removing it from the refrigerator about 20 minutes prior to serving.

Recipe adapted from the Brown Eyed Baker.


January 14, 2021

Sweet News..

by Keelie Banks

Suga Bakers pop-up bakery is back! Swing by our sweet escape and fall in love with more of our delicious homemade goodies that will make your eyes roll and taste buds tingle! There will be a variety of decadent desserts to choose from. Including peanut butter obsession cake, Red velvet cake, oh snap candies, chocolate chip cookies and oh so much more! Plus, there will be live music and a warm beverage station too! It’s the perfect way to kick off your Valentine’s Day weekend. So grab a friend and come on in!

The Delicious Details

Location: 7451 W Madison Street Forest Park IL 60130
(Downtown Forest Park)

Date: Saturday February 13, 2021

Time: 1:00pm – 5:00pm

P.S. Bring a friend


November 22, 2020

A very Merry Quarantined Cookie Swap

by Keelie Banks
1 comment

A fun, safe, festive way to share old family recipes with new friends.

Who says social distancing has to mean the end of socializing? Just because we can’t mix-n-mingle in person this holiday season doesn’t mean we can’t have fun. With a little creativity and preparation, we can still enjoy each other’s company, virtually! What better way to do so then with a good old fashion cookie swap?! I figured everything else has gone virtual, so why not the cookie swap too? This year, let’s put a modern spin on this classic exchange by swapping recipes from the comfort of our own home. It’s a pandemic friendly way to celebrate the holiday season while making new friends and discovering delicious new recipes. So let’s dust off our recipe books, grab our oven mitts and Christmas like it’s 2019!

Here’s how it works…

  1. Fill out the sign-up sheet by Friday November 27, 2020.
  2. I will assign partners then you will receive an email with your partner’s contact information.
  3. You will swap your favorite cookie recipe with your partner.
  4. You are then responsible for baking, photographing and sharing your creation at our virtual swap.
  5. Dress for the occasion. Wearing an ugly holiday sweaters isn’t required, but is encouraged. One lucky participant wearing the best hideous sweater will win a cookie press by Wilton.
  6. Feel free to whip up a cocktail or mock-tail to pair with your cookie.

Important dates:

  1.  RSVP by filling out the sign-up sheet by November 27, 2020.
  2. Emails regarding your partner’s contact information will be sent out on December 1, 2020. Please connect with your partner immediately.
  3. The virtual cookie swap will be held on December 12, 2020 at 5:00 P.M via Google Meet.

Cookie swap rules:

  1. Swap one cookie recipe with your partner.
  2. Make sure the recipe is either a family favorite or one you have tested in your own kitchen.
  3. Keep the shopping list under $20.
  4. Post your final product on Facebook. Remember to tag Suga Bakers (@sugabakerbakery ) and your partner in the post.
  5.  Describe your experience with the recipe in five minutes or less  during the virtual event.

Sign Up Here:


October 19, 2020

The Ultimate Pumpkin Muffins

by Keelie Banks
1 comment
Blog, Muffins

I don’t know why, but lately I’ve been obsessed with all things pumpkin.It started with my quest to find a pumpkin pie recipe that would win over self-proclaimed pumpkin pie haters. That was a fail! Eventually I realize that you’re either a pumpkin pie lover or not. And that’s OK. Everything isn’t for everybody. But this recipe right here, is a sweet treat that everyone will fall in love with. I knew I hit the jackpot when my sister, one of those self-proclaimed pumpkin haters, tripped and fell head over heels in love with my pumpkin muffins. But how could you not? These pumpkin muffins are freaking amazing! On top of that, they are super easy to make too! The recipe only requires a couple of bowls and a wooden spoon. Now that’s my type of baking! The less I have to clean up, the more I love the recipe.

Hands-down, these are the most delicious pumpkin muffins I’ve ever tasted! They are super moist, sweet and not overly pumpkin-y. Not to mention, they are jazzed up with a brown sugar praline topping. How can you go wrong there? You can eat them plain or slice them in half and smear them with your favorite preserve. I usually pair mine with a good old cup of Joe. If you prefer pumpkin bread, just pour the entire batter into a 9×5 inch loaf pan. Or, divide the batter evenly among four mini loaf pans and have one for breakfast each morning. This recipe is quick, easy and versatile. But if you’re feeling ambitious, use your left over pumpkin from Halloween and make fresh pumpkin purée. As for me, I’ll be using a good old can of Libby’s. My motto is, why complicate things when you don’t have to. Happy baking! The full delicious recipe with pics is listed below. Go ahead and give it a try. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

1. Adjust the baking time. A standard 12 cup muffin pan bakes for 15-17 minutes. A 9×5 inch loaf pan bakes for 55-60 minutes.
2. Use paper baking cups. To prevent sticking, line muffin tins with paper baking cups. The muffins will fall out quick, easy and in one piece.
3. Use a cookie scoop. To achieve uniformity, use a medium size cookie scoop to evenly divide the batter among the muffin tins.



1/2 cup olive oil

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup solid pack canned pumpkin

1/3 cup milk

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

Streusel Topping

1/2 cup finally chopped pecans

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoon light olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat 9.5″ pan with cooking spray.
  2. Stir olive oil and sugar together with a spoon. Stir in eggs until blended. Add pumpkin and milk. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Add to pumpkin mixture, stirring well until combined. Stir in 1/2 cup of pecans.
  3. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Combine 1/2 cup pecans, brown sugar and olive oil until mixed and crumbly. Sprinkle over better.
  4. *Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Yields 1 loaf.

*Bread can also be baked in a jumbo muffin pan for 24-25 minutes. Yield 6 jumbo muffins.



October 6, 2020

Pumpkin Praline Pie

by Keelie Banks
1 comment
Blog, Pie

Oh I just love October! The air is crisp, leaves are falling and comfort food is in season. All of the telltale signs that autumn is finally here. It’s also a time when people go pumpkin crazy! Lattes, breads, muffins, macaroons ….you name it! Although I find everything listed above downright delicious – I ‘m surprisingly not fond of pumpkin pie. Weird, isn’t it? I’m more of a sweet potato pie gal myself. Pumpkin is more like a cheap knock off. It just doesn’t measure up! But, after giving this thought more consideration, I wondered if I’d given up on pumpkin pie too easily. Maybe there was a pumpkin pie recipe out there for me after all and I just had to find it. So I scoured the Internet for hours in search of a recipe worthy of my precious calories. I did, it’s divine! Get cozy and fall in love with this month’s featured recipe. Pumpkin praline pie.

Persistence definitely paid off. This pumpkin pie recipe that I found on is everything that I was looking for and more! The feeling is rich, sweet yet spicy and dense but silky smooth. Whipping cream added a rich flavor that most other pumpkin pies lack. The addition of brown sugar also contributed to the pie’s rich and warm flavor. But, the real superstar of this recipe is the streusel topping. This sweet, spicy, crunchy finish turned this basic pie into something special. Plus it’s super easy to make. Just a few easy steps and Wala … A perfectly delicious dessert worthy of going from my lips to my hips. The full recipe with pics is listed below. Whip it up and fall in love!


  1. Crystallized ginger was a pain to locate. Do yourself a favor and purchase it online. Trust me, it will save you gas, time and a major headache.
  2. Don’t worry if this pie takes a little longer to bake. Due to the richness of the whipping cream, the pie may need extra time in the oven. I baked my pie for an hour without the streusel topping. Then, placed the pie back in the oven for and additional  15 – 20 min. with the topping on.
  3. The updated baking time is 60 minutes without streusel topping. An additional 15-20 minutes with topping.



  • 1 sheet refrigerated pie crust
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, unroll crust. Transfer to a 9-in. pie plate and trim to 1/2 in. beyond edge of plate; flute edge.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, pumpkin, cream, sugars, cinnamon, salt, allspice, nutmeg and cloves. Pour into crust. Bake 40 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, combine flour and brown sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in walnuts and ginger. Gently sprinkle over filling.
  4. Bake 15-25 minutes longer or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate leftovers.
Find the full article and directions from

September 10, 2020

Welcome to the Sweet Life!

by Keelie Banks
1 comment

Welcome to the sweet life! A delicious destination where love is made edible. My goal is to turn your kitchen into a sweet escape. A place where you can bake up sweet memories and mouthwatering desserts too! I am here to help you navigate your kitchen and difficult recipes with poise, patience and perseverance. If experience is the best teacher, consider me an expert. I’ve had my fair share of kitchen calamities and baking blues. Which led to mental meltdowns, and some temper tantrums too. Don’t judge me! I’m sure you guys can relate. But it’s okay. With a glass of wine, the proper equipment and yours truly,  we’ll kick our baking bucket list’s ass in no time. Just surrender to the sweet life… It’s a piece of cake!
Who am I you ask? I’m Keelie. A baking enthusiast, Fashionista and overall hostess with the mostest! On my blog, you will notice that I infuse two of my biggest passions: fashion and baking. Simply whipping up a sweet treat isn’t good enough. It has to be presented well too. Why? Because it’s all in the presentation, darling! Here, I’ll teach you how to perfectly package your sweet creations.You will be a hit at every party and known for your fabulous edible gifts. It’s time to shake and bake! Find your nearest kitchen, roll up your sleeves and lets whisk our worries away.