Pumpkin Skillet Cake with Caramel Crackle Icing (and 17 Things People with Mental Illness Wish You Knew)

Pumpkin Skillet Cake with Caramel Crackle Icing
Pumpkin Skillet Cake with Caramel Crackle Icing

Pumpkin Spice Latte Snack Cake

Pumpkin Spice Latte Snack Cake
Pumpkin Spice Latte Snack Cake

Gooey Turtle Brownie Sticky Buns

Gooey Turtle Brownie Sticky Buns
Gooey Turtle Brownie Sticky Buns

Gooey Turtle Brownie Sticky Buns

Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking with filling adapted from these brownies
Yield: 12 buns plus dough for more

This recipe makes twice as much yeast dough as you need (I don’t recommend halving yeast recipes). Roll and fill half of the yeast dough to make these buns and then use the other half to make another kind! Need inspiration? Try these or these or these or these or these or these! Alternatively, you could use the extra dough to make a second batch of these buns and freeze it for later. To freeze some of the unbaked rolls, just wrap them well before the second rise and freeze them. Once frozen, pop them out of the pan all together and store in the freezer, wrapped in plastic wrap and in a zip top bag or wrapped in foil. When you want to bake them, stick them back in a greased pan, thaw them in the fridge overnight, proof for the instructed amount of time, and bake like usual.

Bun Ingredients:
1/4 cup warm water (100-110 degrees F)
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 cups milk minus 2 tablespoons, room temperature
5 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup cold shortening (I use butter flavored Crisco)
2 tablespoons butter, melted, for after baking

Half-Batch Filling Ingredients:
(or try your own favorite brownie batter scaled for a 9 x 13-inch pan, provided it’s a pretty thick batter)
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
bittersweet chocolate chips
caramel sauce
1 cup toasted pecans*

Glaze Ingredients:
melted chocolate chips
caramel sauce
toasted pecans

*To toast pecans: spread pecans on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for around 6-7 minutes, tossing occasionally, until fragrant. Chop while still warm.

Mix the warm water and yeast in a medium bowl and let the yeast foam for about 10 minutes. Put 2 tablespoons white vinegar in a measuring cup and then add milk up to the 2 cup line. Set this aside. In a separate large bowl (or the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook), whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and cut the shortening into the mixture with two knives or a pastry cutter until the shortening looks like small peas. Stir yeast mixture and milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well, kneading just a few turns. Transfer the dough to a bowl lightly sprayed with cooking spray, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and store in refrigerator overnight.

The next morning, in a medium bowl, mix melted butter and cocoa powder until cocoa is dissolved. Mix in the sugar and then mix in the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each until just combined. Stir in the vanilla, flour, and salt, mixing until just combined (don’t over mix). Set the batter aside while you roll out your dough. Don’t stick it in the fridge like I did, because it hardens. Oops.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and lightly spray a baking dish (I use an oval dish that’s smaller than a 9 x 13-inch, but just use whatever will fit about 12 buns close together) with cooking spray. Turn half of the chilled dough out onto a floured surface and roll it into a large rectangle about 1/8-inch thick. Spread the brownie batter gently and evenly all over the dough and sprinkle on chocolate chips and toasted pecans. Drizzle on caramel sauce. Gently roll the dough up into a spiral and cut it into rolls, placing them close together in your prepared baking dish (at this point, you could wrap and freeze the rolls for later if you wanted).

Cover the rolls with a clean dish cloth and let them rise in a warm spot (I set them on my oven’s heat vent) until they’ve nearly doubled, about 2 hours. Bake them for about 15-20 minutes or until browned on top (if you take them out at just lightly golden brown, they may still be doughy in the center). Brush with 2 tablespoons melted butter and return to the oven for 1 more minute. Drizzle rolls with chocolate and caramel sauce. Sprinkle on toasted pecans. Serve immediately.

The Ultimate Gooey Caramel Brownie Mug Cake Sundae

The Ultimate Gooey Caramel Brownie Mug Cake Sundae
The Ultimate Gooey Caramel Brownie Mug Cake Sundae

5 from 1 reviews
The Ultimate Gooey Caramel Brownie Mug Cake Sundae
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
I took an already-great mug cake from one of my faves, America’s Test Kitchen, and pumped it up! I added some espresso to deepen the chocolate flavor and a slew of my favorite toppings from my pantry to create a dessert as decadent as one it takes hours to make. Throw this together at home when you want a special dessert but don’t want to get out of your jammies! I used a big espresso mug for this cake, but you can use any regular size coffee mug that’s microwave safe. Different microwaves may require different cooking times, but your finished cake should look set up but very moist.
Serves: 1
Cake Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips (half bittersweet and half semisweet)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 square of your favorite dark chocolate bar
Topping Ingredients:
  • 3 Werther’s Original® Baking Caramels
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • melted chocolate chips
  • vanilla bean ice cream or gelato
  • crushed toasted nuts
  • crushed cookie
  • whipped cream
  1. Place butter and chocolate chips in a coffee mug and heat on half power for 15 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until melted (about 45 seconds total). In a separate small bowl or ramekin, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate small bowl or ramekin, whisk together the egg, vanilla extract, and espresso powder. When the chocolate is melted in your mug, stir in sugar and cocoa powder. Stir in the egg mixture. Stir in the flour mixture. Stir well to eliminate lumps.
  2. Microwave the mug on half power for 30 seconds (I set mine on a plate just in case there’s spillover). Stir. Microwave on half power for 35 seconds (the cake will rise over the top of your mug like a giant soufflé, but stay calm.) Press the square of chocolate bar down into the center of the cake (I broke mine into two pieces), being careful not to burn your fingers. Microwave on half power for 40 seconds. Let the cake cool in the mug for 2 minutes while you prepare your toppings.
  3. Melt the chocolate chips by heating on half power for 20 second intervals, stirring between each, until melty. Melt the Werther’s Original® Baking Caramels by placing them in a small bowl with the milk. Heat on 30 second intervals, stirring carefully between each, until melty. Top your mug cake with a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, crushed toasted pecans, a crushed cookie (I used a Biscoff cookie), and the kitchen sink. Just kidding about the sink. Enjoy!


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