Local Holiday Recipes

One of the best things about the holidays are all of the delicious treats. From cookies to cocktails, there are indulgences everywhere! To help you prepare for your neighborhood cookie exchange or delight out of town guests, we’ve compiled our favorite holiday recipes from local bakeries, food bloggers, distilleries and more.

Cafe Latte Chocolate Turtle Cake


Credit: Midwest Living

Credit: Midwest Living

The infamous Cafe Latte Chocolate Turtle Cake. Decadent chocolate, drizzled caramel and toasted pecans. Is your mouth watering yet? If you haven’t been, Cafe Latte is a classic cafeteria-style restaurant, serving up soups, sandwiches, and divine desserts. It’s located on bustling Grand Ave in St. Paul. Looking to impress out of town guests or satisfy your chocolate cravings? Make. this. cake. Directions below.

Get the original recipe here: http://www.cafelatte.com/wp-content/uploads/Turtle-Cake-recipe.pdf

M&P Tip: Don’t skimp out on the cocoa. Spend the extra $ for the good stuff. Oh and the cup of hot coffee? Verrrrrrry important for a moist cake.


  • Cake:
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1 ¾ cups sugar
    • ½ cup cocoa (good quality)
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1 Tbl. baking soda
    • 1 egg
    • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 cup buttermilk1 cup hot coffee

Directions: Combine egg, oil and buttermilk. Combine dry ingredients. Add wet to dry until mixed. Slowly pour in hot coffee. Scrape bowl. Mix briefly. Pour batter into three greased & papered 9" cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Test with toothpick.

  • Frosting
    • 5 Tbl. Butter
    • ½ cup milk
    • 1 1/3 cup sugar
    • 2 2/3 cups semi sweet chocolate chips (good quality)
    • 3/4 cup caramel1 ½ cups toasted pecans

Directions: Mix sugar and milk in saucepan, add butter and bring to a boil. Remove
from heat and add chocolate chips to pan. Mix with a wire whip until
smooth. If frosting is too thick or grainy add one or two teaspoons of hot

For each cake layer: Petal 1/3 of the frosting, then sprinkle ½ cup of pecans and drizzle ¼ cup
of caramel on the first layer

Caramel & Apple Pumpkin Pie


Credit: Zoe Bakes

Credit: Zoe Bakes

Caramel, apple and pumpkin? Sign me up! Local baker and author, Zoë François, delivers a buttery, flaky masterpiece with this festive recipe. François studied at the Culinary Institute of Art and has written 4 cookbooks on how to master breadmaking. To keep up with her baking adventures, be sure to check out her instagram, @zoebakes.

Get the original recipe here: http://zoebakes.com/2017/11/21/caramel-apple-pumpkin-pie/

Pie dough – you’ll only need enough for one 10-inch pie, so you can freeze the rest.


  • Caramelized apple layer:
    • 5 apples, peeled, cored and cubed in 1/2-inch pieces
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • Pinch salt
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 2 to 4 tablespoons water
  • Pumpkin layer:
    • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree or equal amount roasted
    • 3/4 cup brown sugar
    • pinch of salt
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon all-spice
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla – DIY vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350°F. Parbake the crust by lining it with foil and pie weights. Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the bottom crust is set, but not coloring at all.

In a skillet, heat the apples, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt until the apples are tender. In a small bowl combine the cornstarch and water. If your apples have a lot of liquid use just 2 tablespoon of water. If they are drier, add the remaining 2 tablespoons water. Stir over medium heat until the apple juices thicken and the cornstarch no longer looks cloudy. Allow the apples to cool while you prepare the pumpkin filling.

 Whisk together the pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, all-spice, eggs, sour cream and vanilla.

Turn down the oven to 325°F. Put the apples in the parbaked pie shell. Pour in the pumpkin over the apples. If there are any large bubbles, pop them with a fork.

Bake the pie for about 1 hour, but check after 45 minutes to gauge how quickly it is setting up. You want to take it out when the pumpkin is set and just puffing ever so slightly. You don’t want it to be liquid in the middle, but you also don’t want the pie to soufflé or it will crack. Set it to cool on a rack. Once the pie is room temperature place it in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Enjoy!

Coconut Macaroons

For those of you looking for a healthier alternative, try these coconut macaroons from local food and health blogger, Fit Foodie Finds. They’re naturally sweet from the coconut and can quickly cure a sweet tooth craving. These delicious macaroons are perfect for your next family gathering or to share with girlfriends at a holiday party.

Find the original recipe here: (https://fitfoodiefinds.com/2016/12/coconut-macaroons/)

Credit: Fit Foodie Finds

Credit: Fit Foodie Finds


  • 4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips


  1. First, preheat oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together coconut, maple syrup, egg whites, coconut oil, and vanilla.

  3. Use a 1/4 cup to scoop the coconut mixture into your palm and compress together. Place on baking sheet and shape into a dome with the palm of your hand. Repeat.

  4. Bake at 350ºF for about 20 minutes or until the macaroons begin to turn golden brown on the sides.

  5. Let cool for about 30 minutes.

  6. Coat the bottom of each macaroon with chocolate by melting chocolate chips in the microwave and stirring until smooth.

  7. Dip the bottom of each macaroon into the melted chocolate (gently), set on a piece of parchment paper. Repeat.

  8. When chocolate has cooled and hardened, enjoy!

Pomegranate-Rosemary Gin Fizz

Credit: Norseman Distillery

Credit: Norseman Distillery

A nod to the classic holiday colors of green and red, this pomegranate-rosemary cocktail is light and refreshing. It pairs nicely with an assortment of appetizers and as a plus, looks beautiful in photos. We used some of our favorite local gin from Norseman Distillery in Northeast Minneapolis to whip up this delightful drink. Check out our original recipe below. P.S. How fun is this holiday label?!


  • Crushed ice
  • 2 ounces of Norseman Gin
  • Dash of lemon
  • ½ tsp superfine sugar
  • Splash of La Croix (any flavor)
  • Splash of pomegranate juice
  • 1 tbps Pomegranate seeds
  • Rosemary sprig

Directions: Add everything except pomegranate seeds and rosemary to shaker. Shake until well combined. Pour into a cocktail glass and garnish with pomegranate seeds and rosemary sprig. Enjoy!