Baking for the Bungalow Crew

I currently work at a local sports grill – The Bungalow – in Shirlington, Va., and I have worked every Sunday during football season. Given that, my shift on those days last from 9.30am – 8pm.

It’s so busy on those days waiting on customers, we don’t really get a chance to eat anything. So I decided at the start of the season to bring in sweet treats that can be nibbled on during the day. Over the course of the season, everything I baked – from Toll House cookies to cake and brownies from scratch – have been a huge hit with all the servers, bartenders and managers working those Sundays.

As football season draws to a close, I thought I would share the top 3 favorite recipes that are Bungalow approved. These are all Cooking Light recipes, and are not only delicious but easy to make! They include Frosted Pumpkin Cake, Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Fudge and Peanut Butter Cup Blondies. The recipes and the links to the actual pages on the Cooking Light site are as follows:

Frosted Pumpkin Cake



10 1/10 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 cups)

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

Cooking spray


2 tablespoons butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 (8-ounce) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese

2 cups sifted powdered sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. To prepare cake, weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.

3. Combine brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, to sugar mixture; beat well after each addition. Add pumpkin; mix well. Fold in flour mixture. Spread batter into a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

4. To prepare the frosting, combine 2 tablespoons butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and cream cheese in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until combined. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until well combined. Spread frosting evenly over top of cake.

Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Fudge

1 (14-ounce) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk, divided

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon instant coffee granules

1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided

3/4 cup peanut butter chips

1 tablespoon peanut butter

1/4 cup salted, dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped


1. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with wax paper. Place 9 tablespoons milk in a microwave-safe bowl. Add chocolate chips, cocoa, and coffee. Microwave at HIGH for 1 minute or until melted. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Spread into prepared pan.

2. Combine the remaining milk, peanut butter chips, and peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH for 1 minute or until melted. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Spread evenly over chocolate layer, and sprinkle with peanuts. Cover and chill 2 hours. Cut into 25 squares.

Peanut Butter Cup Blondies

5 3/5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/4 cups)

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly

2 tablespoons 2% reduced-fat milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Cooking spray

4 (0.75-ounce) peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped


1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients (through salt), stirring well with a whisk. Combine peanut butter and next 4 ingredients (through eggs), stirring well. Add peanut butter mixture to flour mixture; stir until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

3. Scrape the batter into a 9-inch square metal baking pan lightly coated with cooking spray, and arrange the peanut butter cups over batter. Bake at 350° for 19 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

I’ve so enjoyed baking these treats for my coworkers that I love being around every day. They are a fun group and definitely keep things interesting! To me, there’s nothing I would rather do on a Saturday night then bake new and delicious recipes for them. Also, it was always really nice that when regulars or other patrons would ask “what are you eating” and I would tell them and why I brought them in and to a person they all said “how cool and nice of you.” I think my coworkers might go into withdrawal when I’m not bringing in treats on Sunday’s anymore. Might just have to surprise them once in a while as I find new recipes to try out and bring them in to get their opinions.



This entry was posted in brownies, cake, Chocolate, Cooking Light, Dessert, Desserts, peanut butter, pumpkin puree, Recipe, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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