HomeFoodRecipes to keep you busy through the summer

Recipes to keep you busy through the summer


Published May 26, 2020

These recipes are all close to my heart and were inspired by important moments in my life…. Just kidding, they are just recipes you might like to try as we head into the summer months. Considering the fact that we’re all largely confined to our homes anyway, take a break from taking photos of nature for a bit and spend some time in the kitchen whipping up these recipes! 

Cotton Cheesecake

Prep: Approximately 5 hours

Servings: 8

With a light and airy texture, this subtly flavored cheesecake-inspired chiffon cake is ideal for a summer dessert that won’t be overly filling. 


5 large eggs, room temperature (separated) 

¼ tsp. cream of tartar

½ cup sugar, divided into two ¼ cups 

8 oz. cream cheese (one package,) room temp. 

½ cup milk (any, but low-fat is best)

¼ cup unsalted butter, room temp. 

1 tbsp. lemon juice 

¼ cup all-purpose flour

2 tbsp. corn starch

8 inch round pan 


1. Line your pan with parchment paper and seal the ends several times with foil until fully secured.

2. Preheat your oven to 315 degrees and prepare a water bath that you can fit an 8-inch cake pan into. Place the water bath into the oven as it preheats. 

3. Separate your egg whites into a mixing bowl, saving your yolks for later–ideally, you should separate them while the eggs are still cold, and then leave them to sit until room temperature, as this will reduce the likelihood of yolks breaking (unless you have a fancy egg separator apparatus). 

4. Beat your egg whites on low for 30 seconds, and then increase the speed to low-medium until foamy, approximately 1 minute.

5. Set the mixer to medium and add your cream of tartar, followed by gradually adding half of the sugar. Continue to beat on medium-high until stiff peaks begin to form: This should take around two minutes. Set aside. 

6. In another bowl, combine your room-temperature cream cheese and the milk on low until creamy. Add your butter, lemon juice and remaining sugar, continuing to combine until smooth. 

7. Add the flour and cornstarch and continue mixing for 1 minute, and then add your egg yolks and continue to mix until smooth and incorporated. Optionally, you can pour your batter through a sieve after this. 

8. Fold your meringue mixture into the cream cheese mixture gently–you should add the mixture in roughly one cup at a time. Make sure your mixture remains light and airy, as this is the essence of the cake! 

9. Pour the batter into your 8-inch pan, and spread the top evenly. If there are air bubbles in the cake, tap it gently against your counter a few times until they disappear.

10.  Place the pan into the water bath in the oven and bake for approximately an hour–you want to make sure the top is slightly browned. 

11. After 1 hour, turn off your oven but leave the cake inside for approximately an hour. Transfer it to the fridge for approximately 4 hours or, ideally, overnight, and then serve!

Spiced Cinnamon Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep: Approximately 2 hours

Servings: 20

The airy and light vanilla cake contrasts its subtle flavor against the robust cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

While the frosting is the star of the show, the dense cake underneath provides an elegant contrast. 

Batter ingredients:

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups cake flour

1 tbsp. baking powder 

½ tsp. salt

1 ½ tbsp. cinnamon

1 cup unsalted butter, room temp. 

1 ¾ cup sugar

4 eggs, room temp. 

2 ½ tsp. vanilla extract

1 ¼ cups milk 

Frosting ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter, room temp.

8 oz. room temp. cream cheese (one package) 

2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 tsp. cinnamon 

3 cups powdered sugar (approx.) 


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line two muffin sheets with liners. 
  2. Sift together both flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a mixing bowl, and set aside. Cream together the butter and sugar on medium until creamy, approx. 3 minutes.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time while beating continuously, and then add the vanilla extract. 
  4. On low speed, add the dry ingredients slowly, preferably in four batches, until evenly incorporated. Fill the cupcake liners approx. ¾ full, and bake for around 16-20 minutes. 
  5. After removing the cupcakes, prepare the frosting as they cool. Beat together butter and cream cheese on medium until well-combined, approx. 3 minutes, then add the vanilla and cinnamon. 
  6. Slowly incorporate the powdered sugar in one-cup batches, adjusting the measurements to your preferred texture. 
  7. Pipe or spoon the frosting onto your cooled cupcakes, and dust with a sprinkling of sifted cinnamon. 

Testimonial: “At first, I was skeptical. Cream cheese and cinnamon? Interesting concept. As soon as I had the first bite, though, I knew I had been wrong. Texture? 10 out of 10. Flavor? 10 out of 10. Overall: 9/10 because I was too full and couldn’t eat more than one.” — staffwriter Zoe Garderet 

Rose Water & Orange Cake

Prep: Approximately 3 hours

Servings: 10

The rose water and orange zest cake delicately balances the earthy flavors of the rose with the subtle sweetness of the orange.

This moist cake offers a unique combination of flavors and makes for a good conversation piece, but people will not be conversing because they’ll be too busy eating your cake. 

Candied rose petals ingredients: 

1 egg white

Approximately 30-40 rose petals (store-bought, home-grown, we’re not elitists) 

2 tbsp. sugar

Cake ingredients:

1 cup shelled pistachios 

½ tsp. ground cardamom 

1 cup almond meal

¾ cup all-purpose flour (approx.) 

1 ¼ tsp. baking powder 

¼ tsp. salt

1 ¼ cup + 1 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temp. 

1 ⅔ cup sugar

4 eggs, lightly beaten

Grated orange zest + 1 tbsp. orange juice

2 tbsp. rose water

½ tsp. vanilla extract

Rose cream ingredients:

¾ cup Greek yogurt

¾ cup creme fraiche 

1 tbsp. powdered sugar

1 tbsp. rose water

Rose syrup ingredients: 

½ cup fresh orange juice

⅓ cup rose water

½ cup sugar


  1. For the candied rose petals, preheat your oven to 200 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. For the cake, grease a 9-inch springform pan and line with parchment paper. 

Candied rose petals: 

  1. Whisk egg white until frothy, and lightly paint both sides of each petal with egg white with a pastry brush,
  2. Lightly sprinkle sugar onto both sides. 
  3. Place in the oven for approx. 30 minutes, then set aside. 
  4. Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

For the cake: 

  1. Crush pistachios and cardamom in a food processor, processing until ground evenly. 
  2. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the almond meal, flour, baking powder and salt, then combine and set aside. 
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high for around two minutes. 
  4. On low, incorporate the eggs, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. The mixture will naturally curdle, but this is fine. 
  5. Fold the dry ingredients in by hand, and make sure not to incorporate too much air. 
  6. Fold in the orange zest, orange juice, vanilla extract and rose water evenly, then pour into a pan. 
  7. Bake for around an hour, checking for doneness after about 50-55 minutes.  
  8. When your cake is in the oven, prepare the rose cream and rose syrup.

For the rose cream: 

  1. Place all ingredients into a bowl and whisk rapidly for two minutes, then place in the fridge.

 For the rose syrup:

  1. Around 10 minutes before the cake is ready, place all ingredients into a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Bring it to a boil so the sugar can dissolve, and then remove from the heat. 

Once the cake is done, drizzle the syrup over top of it, and place rose petals on top. Serve alongside the cream. 

Testimonial: “The pistachio and rose water are flavors reminiscent of Iranian cakes eaten with afternoon tea, but the finishing creme fraiche balances the cake’s sweetness. 10/10 for its creativity and great flavor.” — 2018-19 staffwriter Grace Dean

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