Upside Down Pluot Cobbler

Humpday happiness right here ↓

Hot Upside Down Pluot Cobbler fresh out of the oven and topped with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.

I mean, who doesn’t need an Upside Down Pluot Cobbler to help get them through the week? I, for one, can tell you that I REALLY wish the fam and I hadn’t scarfed down this entire dessert in one sitting so I could still be enjoying a piece as I write this, but at least I came home to Santa Barbara with two bags full of stone fruits from my in-laws’ garden, so there will be another cobbler in my very near future. I hope the same is true for you!

I was actually inspired to make a cobbler by a peach one my mother-in-law made for us a couple of weeks ago. We walked into the house after a long day of travel and it smelled heavenly in there, and as soon as I took a bite I knew exactly why. It was the perfect mix of soft, crunchy, sweet and doughy and, although this isn’t her recipe here, this Upside Down Pluot Cobbler is equally as delicious, especially with the boatload of fresh pluots they gave me straight from their backyard.

I had never made a cobbler before, but after tasting my MIL’s, I knew I was up for the challenge. I wanted to keep it easy for this first go-around, so I trolled the Internet for a bit of inspiration. I really liked the idea of dumping everything – fruit topping and biscuit topping – into a baking dish at once and baking it altogether. Of course, I also had to make it photogenic, and I’d say this upside-down technique – with the pluots peeking through the center of the batter – did the trick!

A sweet, fruity filling peaks through the center of this Upside Down Pluot Cobbler.

My main inspiration for the biscuit-like batter came from this Paula Deen recipe for Peach Cobbler. But of course I couldn’t make it #basic and had to sprinkle drops of marzipan throughout. That extra kick of almond flavor compliments the pluots perfectly and is a welcome surprise when you bite into the finished product.

For the pluot filling, I simmered the fresh fruit over the stove with some sugar and water, plus a good dose of cornstarch to make the filling extra-syrupy and thick, perfect for oozing throughout the batter as the cobbler cooks.

For baking, first spread the biscuit batter throughout the pan (don’t forget the marzipan!), then carefully dump in the simmered pluots. The fruit may seem completely covered at first but have no fear, as your Upside Down Pluot Cobbler bakes, the pluots will peak through, just enough to give you a good little tease of the delicious tastes to come.

This one-dish Upside Down Pluot Cobbler is the perfect end-of-summer treat!

Of course, no cobbler of any kind, and especially no Upside Down Pluot Cobbler, should be served without some high-quality fresh vanilla ice cream, so be sure you have some on-hand before you embark on your little baking journey.

And don’t be shy to swap in other stone fruits for the pluots – nectarines, peaches and the like will all still pair beautifully with the marzipan, depending on what you happen to have on hand in your kitchen right now.

A serving of this Upside Down Pluot Cobbler will turn any week around!

With less than an hour of baking time and a list of ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be whipping up an Upside Down Pluot Cobbler this very evening. Not only is it mind-blowingly delicious but, with many schools starting up again next week, it’s the perfect treat to cap off a summer well-spent. Here’s to an ultimate end-of-summer treat!

Hot Upside Down Pluot Cobbler fresh out of the oven and topped with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Upside Down Pluot Cobbler
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
55 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 15 mins

This summer stone fruit cobbler has a wonderfully sweet and crunchy dough and a thick, oozy filling of perfectly ripe pluots. 

Course: Dessert
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
For the pluot filling:
  • 1 1/2 pounds pluots (about 6-8), pitted and sliced
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
For the biscuit batter:
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted plus 1 tablespoon for greasing baking dish
  • 3 ounces marzipan
  • Vanilla ice cream, to serve
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 12- by 8-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon melted butter and set aside.

  2. First, make the pluot filling. Combine pluots, sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and stir until pluots break down and begin to form a syrupy mixture, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in cornstarch, breaking up any large clumps. Set aside while you make the batter.

  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the self-rising flour, almond meal, sugar, milk and ¼ cup melted butter.

  4. Pour the batter into your prepared baking dish. Break marzipan into small balls and sprinkle over the top of the batter. 

  5. Next, pour in the pluot filling so that it fairly evenly spreads throughout the batter, but is a bit more condensed in the center. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45-55 minutes, or until the top of the cobbler is a beautiful golden brown. 

  6. Cool just slightly before serving with vanilla ice cream. 

Upside Down Pluot Cobbler |

Lightened Up Double Strawberry Milkshake (and Big News!)

Okay, I’ve been keeping this secret for about four months now and I am soooo excited to finally share it all with you along with this perfectly appropriate Lightened Up Double Strawberry Milkshake…

A festive pink Lightened Up Double Strawberry Milkshake with pictures from some of our baby girl's first ultrasounds!

Baby Girl Deem will be arriving in October!!

That’s right, our little family is growing, and at a rapid rate at that, because there’s something else I haven’t told you yet (unless you’ve been peaking at my Insta-stories)…

The newest addition to our family, golden retriever puppy Brooklyn, isn't sure how she feels abut getting a baby sister in October!

We got a puppy!!

And oh my goodness we are just over-the-moon with excitement. Brooklyn is an 8-week old red golden retriever and she has completely stolen our hearts. We picked her up on Mother’s Day, which also happened to be the day we did our gender reveal with both of our families, so it was an exciting one! Good thing we have about five months to get used to Miss B. before our other little bundle of joy arrives in the fall 😉

So, yes, Chris will be going from just having to deal with me and my crazy hormones and Type A personality to a household full of girls in a matter of months…I hope he’s ready for all of this! Actually, I have no doubt that he is because he is the best and I know he is going to be the world’s greatest father to both our fur baby and our real baby. No questions asked!

To celebrate all of this big news and the sudden plethora of females in our little corner of the world, I decided to whip up this Lightened Up Double Strawberry Milkshake. After all, there’s nothing better than a festive (and yes, non-alcoholic) pink drink to get a pregnancy (or new puppy) party started!

Two frosty Lightened Up Double Strawberry Milkshakes ready to be consumed!

Now, I know many of you tune in every Friday for a new boozy cocktail recipe, so I hope you can bear with me here. And I also know what you’re thinking…There have been an awful lot of boozy cocktail recipes here on the blog over the past few months. Well, I’m loathe to report that I have not been drinking any of them (sad face) but have instead been working on my spitting game and handing the taste-testing reigns over to the hubs to make sure they’re suitable for your consumption and enjoyment. It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it 😉

And if you’re really wanting a boozy recipe to get you through the weekend, I’m just going to throw this out there and say that a splash (or glug) of bourbon would be an absolutely AMAZING addition little addition to a frosty Lightened Up Double Strawberry Milkshake.

Overhead shot of Lightened Up Double Strawberry Milkshakes that happen to be dairy-free AND vegan!

In other news, these shakes just also happen to be dairy-free and vegan…and I’m very happy to report that you’d never even know it. They’re just as deliciously creamy and indulgent as your average strawberry milkshake, yet contain absolutely no milk or cream.

So here’s what I used:

Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream from Trader Joe’s

(I didn’t even know this existed but trust me when I say it’s amazing.)

Frozen Strawberries
Vanilla Extract
Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
Simple Syrup

That’s it! I picked up some strawberries at the Farmer’s Market that were possibly not quite ripe, so a little more on the sour side (although still delicious.) If you find some really ripe strawberries or can only find sweetened vanilla almond milk, you may want to decrease the amount of simple syrup or eliminate it altogether.

After you have all of the ingredients, the cooking process is as easy as throwing everything together in a blender and pressing “Start!”

Profile view of frosty Lightened Up Double Strawberry Milkshakes topped with homemade whipped cream and pink sprinkles.

One quick note: I did make some homemade whipped cream to dollop on top of these bad boys for photography purposes that is NOT vegan. I know some folks have had success making coconut whipped cream (I have not) so please feel free to use that if you want to go completely vegan and dairy-free, or just omit the whipped cream altogether. The shake will still taste super-delicious!

I know this is all a lot of excitement for one post, so I don’t want to keep you too long. What I do want to know, though, is what (if anything) you’d like to hear about how my pregnancy is going, how my diet and workouts are changing, what I’m buying (for myself AND baby girl,) etc. I know you come here primarily for the recipes, but I know there may also be some of you out there who are in the same boat as me, so please drop me a line!

Overhead view of Lightened Up Double Strawberry Milkshakes with some pictures from one of our baby girls' latest ultrasounds!

Looking forward to sharing all of these new adventures with you 🙂

Profile view of frosty Lightened Up Double Strawberry Milkshakes topped with homemade whipped cream and pink sprinkles.
Lightened Up Double Strawberry Milkshake
Prep Time
10 mins

This lightened up version of the 50's diner favorite is both dairy-free and vegan but tastes just like the real thing.

Course: Dessert
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
  • 1 pint strawberry coconut ice cream
  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon simple syrup
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until combined. Pour into milkshake glasses and garnish with whipped cream and fresh strawberries, if desired.

Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!)

Boy oh boy am I going to need a lot of this when we get back from Italy.

Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!) |

Yes, I’m talking about turning to ICE CREAM to reset my diet after a week and a half of indulgence in one of the most foodie-friendly countries of the world. You know why? Because this Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream is h-e-a-l-t-h-y! That’s right. We’re talking vegan/dairy-free, where the only cream we’re speaking of comes from our good ol’ friend the coconut. Did I mention it’s darn delicious too?

Now, you know I’m no stranger to ice cream, and I’m certainly no stranger to the full-octane kind. This Fresh Mint Dark Chocolate Chip Ice Cream is still one of my favorite recipes to date, and as soon as fig season rolls around you can bet I’ll be whipping up this Maple Bourbon Fig Ice Cream on the reg. But to me, this Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream just screams spring and warmer weather. Sure, we can still enjoy our Golden Milk Lattes in the cool, often foggy mornings (here in SB at least,) but once the sun breaks through and the temperatures start to climb into the high 70’s, you can bet a healthy frozen treat will sound a whole lot better.

Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!) |

In case you’ve been living under a rock lately, here’s a quick recap of all of the great things turmeric can do for your body:

Help with heartburn and indigestion
Tame joint pain and inflammation
Support brain health
Fight cancer cells

So you can see why it’s been getting so much hype lately. Up until now, my go-to use of turmeric has been in our morning smoothies a few times a week, especially if the hubs and I are recovering from a tough workout or just not feeling up to snuff. But now I get to enjoy it for dessert too! Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream is definitely going to be a new staple in our household.

Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!) |

I have to admit, making ice cream out of coconut milk was quite the learning process. I’m not sure if I just fail at shaking canned coconut milk vigorously enough, or if TJ’s full-fat coconut milk just tends to be chunkier, but man I struggled when I used their stuff for my first go-around.

I did a little research when I first decided to give this Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream a shot, and found two recipes online that seemed intriguing. The first method (when I used the Trader Joe’s brand of coconut milk) was from my friends at The Kitchn, which involved heating things up with cornstarch over the stove and then putting the pudding-like mixture in the refrigerator to thicken overnight. Unfortunately, when I pulled the mixture out the next morning, I was greeted with an incredibly thick film over the top and completely runny bottom. I tried salvaging it in the ice cream maker but with no luck. Now, I’m not sure if the problem was the brand of milk or the method, but I decided to try a different angle for my second time around.

The second recipe that had caught my eye was Minimalist Baker’s easy technique for basic coconut ice cream. This one involved whirring all of the ingredients together in the blender before pouring it all into the ice cream maker, no overnight chilling or vigorous shaking required. I’m happy to say this second attempt was a success and we had a batch of delicious Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream ready to consume after just a couple of hours of firming up in the freezer.

One thing I will mention is that this ice cream gets quite hard and icy after it is completely chilled. All this means is you’ll have to take it out of the freezer 10-20 minutes before you want to enjoy it so it can soften up a bit to the consistency of soft serve.

Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!) |

Okay, folks, I’ve got to sign off because we have a very exciting day today. We’re taking a cooking class from the amazing owners at our villa and I cannot wait to eat allllll of the fresh pasta. I’ll try to post updates on my Instagram stories if our WiFi service is good enough! Xo

Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!) |
Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!)
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
4 hr

New "it" superfood turmeric is the star in this vegan, dairy-free ice cream made solely from coconut milk. The perfect healthy warm weather treat!

Course: Dessert
Servings: 8 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
  • 2 14-ounce cans full-fat coconut milk Trader Joe's brand did not work for me!
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Be sure to freeze your ice cream machine canister the night before you want to make this!

  2. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on medium-high until sugar dissolves and everything is well-combined.

  3. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and churn according to maker’s directions. 

  4. Transfer ice cream to an 8- or 9-inch loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap, being sure to press the wrap down on the surface of the ice cream. This will help it from preventing too much of a film as it freezes.

  5. Freeze for 4-6 hours. Remember to remove the ice cream from the freezer 10-20 minutes before you want to enjoy it so it can soften up a bit!

Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!) |

Boozy Affogato

Raise your hand if you’re all for combining booze, caffeine and dessert in one delicious treat!

Boozy Affogato |

Boozy Affogato has arrived and it’s definitely here to stay. Rich vanilla ice cream is topped with a heavy pour of spiked espresso to make the perfect simple dessert. It comes together as quickly as you can pull that shot of espresso and will disappear from your glass just as fast. And since we’re covering all of the basic food groups (as mentioned above) I think it would be just as suitable to enjoy as a special treat after a weekend breakfast as it would to sip on after a big Sunday meal.

I don’t know what kind of a week you’ve had, but judging from my own hectic schedule as well as so many of my friends’, it’s been a crazy one. After being on the road the past two weekends, I’m very much looking forward to a relaxing couple of days at home with nothing more important to do than go on a hike to see some beautiful waterfalls. Oh, and enjoy a Boozy Affogato or two, of course.

Boozy Affogato |

Yep, we literally have NO plans for this weekend and we are so excited. You all know that leading a balanced lifestyle is my jam, and as I’ve grown up a bit, I’ve come to realize that occasional weekends with nothing on the schedule are absolutely necessary. It leaves you time to regroup, recover from a busy week and, heck, do something totally spontaneous every now and then.

It also leaves you more time to get in the kitchen and make something completely new and adventurous. Some of my favorite lazy weekend cooking projects are homemade breads, stocks and soups made from scratch, and homemade pasta (which I have another exciting version of coming to the blog on Monday!) What are your favorite things to make in the kitchen when you have a little extra time to play around?

One thing that you will not need all that extra time to whip up is this recipe for Boozy Affogato. I took the Italian classic and amped it up with Cognac and bourbon. If we’re going to have espresso for dessert, we might as well counteract all that caffeine with a little alcohol so we’re not up all night, right?

Boozy Affogato |

So here’s all it takes to create this incredibly tasty dessert (or breakfast, I won’t judge):

Vanilla Ice Cream (homemade or store-bought, doesn’t matter)
Espresso (or brewed coffee, if you don’t have an espresso machine)

That’s it! Four ingredients and you have yourself an elegant, uncomplicated dessert that would impress a table full of fancy dinner guests just as much as it would your significant other on a quiet night in.

We’re heading to Italy at the end of April, and I’m getting so excited to be reacquainted with authentic versions of all of my favorite Italian foods (and drinks!) Until then, I’m going to have to settle for whipping up Boozy Affogatos and eating as much homemade pizza as I can to get myself ready. Who’s with me?

Boozy Affogato |

Boozy Affogato |
Boozy Affogato
Prep Time
5 mins

The classic Italian treat with a boozy kick - rich espresso is spiked with Cognac and bourbon and poured over creamy vanilla ice cream.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 1 serving
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
  • 2 ounces brewed espresso (or coffee)
  • 1 ounce bourbon
  • 1/2 ounce Cognac
  • 1 large scoop vanilla ice cream
  1. Combine espresso, Cognac and bourbon in a small measuring cup. Scoop ice cream into a small bowl (or fairly shallow coffee mug) and pour espresso mixture over top. Enjoy immediately.

Boozy Affogato |

Maple Bourbon Fig Ice Cream

The ultimate summer-fall hybrid.

Maple Bourbon Fig Ice Cream | CaliGirl Cooking

Let me just say that I have been thinking about a Maple Bourbon Fig Ice Cream recipe since LAST year, when I came up with the idea oh, about two months too late for fresh figs. You know my obsession with the fleeting late summer fruit is real when I’m dreaming of them long after they’ve disappeared from the Farmer’s Markets or grocery produce sections.

Thank goodness for my running “recipe idea” list so I can keep track of these things, even if I have to wait a whole year to make them. I have a few more amazing fall recipe ideas up my sleeve that were incepted last year as well, and I can’t wait to share them all with you in the next couple of months!

I think this Maple Bourbon Fig Ice Cream is the perfect bridge from sunny, daylight-filled summer to brisker, cozier fall. As all ice creams are, this is the perfect way to cool down for the last few days of warmer weather, while the maple, bourbon and figs make it just as suitable to enjoy in front of the fireplace, served over a slice of warm apple pie, or even serve affogato-style with a hot shot of espresso. Is your mouth watering yet?

Maple Bourbon Fig Ice Cream | CaliGirl Cooking

I made my first batch of Maple Bourbon Fig Ice Cream a few days ago and it’s already gone. We don’t mess around with ice cream in this household. Although it takes a bit longer to freeze up than most other ice creams (due to the bourbon,) once it does, it has a beautiful consistency and just the right amount of vanilla to balance out the maple and bourbon flavors. Plus, those chunks of fresh figs! I’d never tried freezing figs before, but the texture is just perfect. They’re just the right amount of chewy, and won’t give you brain freeze or break your teeth when you bite into them.

As far as the method I used for this super-delicious, party-in-my-mouth Maple Bourbon Fig Ice Cream, it’s actually an even easier version of the technique I used for this Fresh Mint Dark Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. The best part? No overnight steeping required! So you can start this ice cream and finish it in the same day (although I dare say that it just gets better the next day, with more time to set up in the freezer.)

Maple Bourbon Fig Ice Cream | CaliGirl Cooking

We first make our creamy base, with whole milk, heavy cream, cornstarch, corn syrup and vanilla and stir it into creamy mascarpone before letting it cool down in the refrigerator for a hot second (well, realistically an hour or so.)

Once the mixture is cooled, we take it out and throw it into our trusty ice cream maker (seriously, if you’re in the market for a SUPER easy-to-use ice cream maker, you’ve just GOT to get this one…I love it!), add the maple, bourbon and chopped fresh figs, and freeze according to your maker’s instructions. I love mine because the ice creams are basically frozen in under an hour. This particular recipe took a bit longer (as I mentioned –> bourbon!) and once I did eventually remove it I still put it in the freezer for a few hours before I felt it was ready to be suitable enjoyed as ice cream.

But, then….Ohhhhh but, then…I took a big spoonful and brought it to my lips, and in that moment I knew all was right with the world and that this Maple Bourbon Fig Ice Cream was so worth waiting a whole year for. The creaminess, the booziness, the maple-ness, I couldn’t have asked for anything better. Oh, except for you to try this recipe so we can all be Maple Bourbon Fig Ice Cream-lovers together!

Maple Bourbon Fig Ice Cream | CaliGirl Cooking

Maple Bourbon Fig Ice Cream

30 minutes

Cook Time: 5 hours

Total Time: 5 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: Makes 4 large or 6 small servings

A creamy, boozy ice cream to take us from summer to fall, laced with bourbon, maple syrup and fresh figs.


  • 1 ½ cups + 2 tablespoons whole milk (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 ounces mascarpone
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • 6 fresh figs, chopped


  1. Combine two tablespoons whole milk and cornstarch. Stir vigorously with a fork to make a slurry. Set aside.
  2. Place mascarpone and salt in a large, glass bowl (preferably with a lid.) Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 ½ cups whole milk, heavy cream, vanilla, sugar and corn syrup. Bring to a boil and let boil gently for about 4 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in cornstarch mixture. Place back on heat and bring to a boil again, stirring fairly consistently for about one minute, or until the mixture begins to thicken.
  5. Pour cream mixture into mascarpone mixture. Let cool slightly and then place in refrigerator for an hour or two, or until completely cool (this is when you’ll want to use the lid for the bowl.)
  6. Remove mixture from refrigerator and add to ice cream maker, adding maple syrup, bourbon and chopped figs. Freeze according to the ice cream maker’s directions. My ice cream maker took about an hour for this particular recipe.
  7. Transfer ice cream to a freezer-proof container (I just used the same bowl I chilled the cream mixture in) and freeze for at least a few more hours, up to two days. Enjoy within a week.
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Maple Bourbon Fig Ice Cream |

Might I add that this would also be quite suitable for a milkshake??

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