Today is the day! I wrote an Instant Pot Dessert cookbook called Instantly Sweet with my friend Barbara from Pressure Cooking Today and it is finally ready to ship out to all you wonderful people! Read on for a sneak peek into the book.
Writing a cookbook is such a roller coaster of emotions. First, you're excited, then stressed out beyond belief. One day your giddy over a successful recipe, the next you're crying because you're “an utter failure and why did I think I could do this!” Dramatic?
You trudge through all of it because you know the moment you touch and flip through the final product, all the tears and exhaustion are completely worth it. Kind of like having a baby, now that I think about it, haha!
My most favorite part is when the feedback from all you wonderful people starts to come. Imagining my recipes being enjoyed at your tables is the most amazing feeling. There is an instant connection with a world full of strangers that makes blogging and cookbook writing so completely worth it. When we can meet together and talk about our love of food, friends, and family, this crazy, unpredictable world starts to feel like a friendly, hopeful place.
Now, back to the elephant in the room. The title of this post:
CONFESSIONS OF A SUGAR-FREE DESSERT QUEEN
Let's chat a moment about my journey of becoming a dessert cookbook author. It can all be summed up in the following six confessions.
CONFESSION ONE: I DON'T EAT SUGAR
Yep, I went refined sugar-free in the summer of 2014 and never looked back. To achieve this overwhelming task, I took an online course called Go Sugar Free and it quite literally changed my life. It opened windows, doors, and 3 car garages to so many opportunities, one of them being the chance to write a healthy cookbook with my sister Cami and to blog alongside her on TIDBITS. Being sugar-free gave me a great sense of freedom and set fire to my tired soul (mommy of newborn twin boys and all). I never felt stronger. For more details on the when, how, and why I did this course, see The Decisions that Change Everything.
CONFESSION TWO: I EAT CHOCOLATE
Okay, okay. I enjoy my homemade 90% chocolates daily. Minor detail. Don't judge.
CONFESSION THREE: I AM MY FAMILY'S DESSERT QUEEN
You would not believe the upset I caused when I declared to my siblings and husband that I would no longer be the reigning dessert queen. The reaction was similar to the typical grieving process that begins with Denial and Anger, then after lots of begging and teasing, there came Acceptance.
I still own my dessert binder full of incredible sweet treats and have happily passed it on to my daughter who finds it completely delightful. “You know how to cook desserts mom?” “Yes my dear, like a boss.”
CONFESSION FOUR: I WROTE A DESSERT COOKBOOK AND AM STILL SUGAR-FREE
When I got the email from Barbara about teaming up with her to write a cookbook, I literally screamed and jumped up and down. I learned everything I know about pressure cooking from Barbara by cooking through her blog and emailing back and forth with her my questions on how best to use this awesome appliance.
I wasn't allowed to know the topic of said cookbook until I 100% agreed to join the project. I daydreamed about all the potential topics: Instant Pot Indulgent Food Made Healthy, Feeding a Family – Pressure Cooker Style, Instant Potting with Barbara and Rachael Ray.
Nope. None of the above. I'm still holding on to the dream of that last one though.
The topic was: Instant Pot Desserts. Oh boy, what did I get myself into? I announced the topic to my husband and kids: they cheered. I announced it to my mom and sisters: they laughed . . . Hard.
I'll be honest. I panicked. My body's response to even small amounts of sugar is not fun. Plus I was scared to fall off this sugar-free train that I so loved.
But the dessert queen deep down inside of me cheered triumphantly as I said, “Absolutely I will help write this cookbook, and I'm gonna knock it out of the park, too.”
My first trip to the grocery store had my husband and I in tears, laughing. My cart was piled high with basically everything from the cookie, baking, and candy aisle. Dessert ideas came to my mind with a vengeance and I was ecstatic to let the dessert queen once again spread her wings.
The recipe testing was intense. One night I made lava cakes 5 times, before finally getting it right. I cried tears of exhaustion, my kids cried tears of joy.
I tasted small bites of the treats along the way, but ultimately relied on my kids, my husband, family, and neighbors to assure me I had nailed it. They were all very diligent in their responsibilities, sometimes insisting I make the same Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee or Tres Leches Cake 5 times “just to make sure.” I couldn't have done it without them. Because of their help, I was able to maintain my desired lifestyle, free of refined sugar.
CONFESSION FIVE: I FEED MY FAMILY DESSERT
And I do it with pride. Prior to recipe testing for this book, I rarely made treats. Not because I didn't want my family eating them necessarily, they just didn't appeal to me and I didn't want to waste my precious time on them.
I wish so badly that I had taken pictures of my children's faces every time I unveiled another recipe for the cookbook. They couldn't wait to come to dinner every night!
It became very apparent to me that amazing memories can be made around a really good dessert. Any and all arguing stops the very moment chocolate lava pours from their cakes,
or when brightly colored delicacies fill their bowls,
or when I torch ooey gooey marshmallows right before their eyes.
It doesn't matter how good roasted broccoli is, it just doesn't turn young children into angels like desserts do.
I began to see homemade desserts in a whole new light and I adored the feeling of harmony that was created by such a simple endeavor as pressure cooking a cake.
I shared the excess desserts with family and friends and experienced a connection with them I had never felt in the 30+ years that I'd lived in my hometown. All because of an absolutely, to die for, beautiful cheesecake.
CONFESSION SIX: I HAD AN ABSOLUTE BLAST WRITING A DESSERT COOKBOOK
I honestly didn't expect to enjoy this process as much as I did. The magic of cooking with butter, sugar, and chocolate is exhilarating. It opened up a wondrous array of flavor combinations that I hadn't thought of in years. Some of my ideas flopped (yogurt cheesecake, zebra poke cake, coconut creme brulee . . . to name a few), but some exceeded my expectations like: Red Velvet Cheesecake, Dulce de Leche Lava Cake, Carrot Cake Breakfast Cake, Angel Food Cake, Caramel Walnut Brownie Pudding Cake, Coconut Custard Pie, Smore Bread Pudding, White Chocolate Lime Rice Pudding . . . and so on.
Alongside Barbara, I poured my heart and soul into these recipes. There were lots of tears (taking pictures of 5 cheesecakes in one afternoon . . . clean up took me 2 hours alone), but lots of laughter and smiles (my daughter exclaiming that I was finally a great chef) and it was all so very worth it, because together, Barbara and I created the ultimate Instant Pot Dessert Cookbook. You will all absolutely love it!
Now for a sneak peak inside the contents of the book. There are gems all over in this beauty!
The intro of this book alone is a treasure trove! It includes:
- Sweet Talk: 101 on how to make the best desserts in an electric pressure cooker
- Sweet Tricks: The best insider scoop on how to get perfect results every time
- Sweet Stuff: The low down on all the equipment we use to make our desserts
- Bittersweet Moments: A thorough troubleshooting guide to help you determine why things could have gone wrong and how to prevent it from happening again
Now to the recipes! There is a huge variety of desserts in this book with unique flavor profiles that will have you excited to get in the kitchen. The sections include:
- Quick Breads and Breakfasts: Cinnamon Roll Steel Cut Oats, Pineapple Upside Down Breakfast Cakes, etc
- Cheesecakes: Tropical Cheesecake, Vanilla Confetti Cheesecake, etc
- Lava Cakes: Smore Lava Cake, White Chocolate Macadamia Lava Cake, etc
- Cakes: Chocolate Lover's Dream Cake, Lemon Poppy Seed Cake, etc
- Pies: Banana Split Pie, Creamy Orange Pie, etc
- Cobblers and Fruit Desserts: Cranberry Orange Poached Pears, Triple Berry Crisp, etc
- Custards and Puddings: Chocolate Tapioca Pudding, Caramel Pots de Creme, etc
- Sauces, Fillings, and Toppings: Cherry Pie Filling, Salted Chocolate Dulce de Leche, etc
You're going to be in dessert heaven for a very, very long time!
Thanks so much to all of you! Creating and writing recipes and sharing them with you all has been such an amazing, yet unexpected path in my life. I love it more than I ever thought I would and I feel so blessed to be able to do it.
Order your copy of Instantly Sweet ASAP and please oh please let me know which recipe you make first!
If you need recommendations, here ya go, from the mouth of babes (and yes, I'm including my husband in this list of “babes”)
- My daughter: “Make the Caramel Walnut Brownie Pudding Cake, but leave the walnuts out and you will love all the hot fudgy bites.”
- My son: “Make the lava cakes. All of them cause they all make your heart happy and make you want to be a nicer person.”
- My other son: “Make the S'more Bread Pudding. If my mom wasn't home I would eat the whole pan and I wouldn't even feel sick.”
- My husband: “Go for the Triple Layer Chocolate Mint Cheesecake. It's the best cheesecake I've ever had.”
There ya go! Recommendations from the best critics on the block.
NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY NEWS!
Giveaway is now over.
Congratulations to the winner of our three pressure cooker cookbooks, Cindy! She said,
“Salted caramel anything! I also gave up refined sugar but have found friends in coconut sugar and xylitol. A sugar free instant pot dessert book would be so welcome!”
Leave a comment below telling me your favorite dessert of all time and you will be entered to win THREE Instant Pot cookbooks. Master the Electric Pressure Cooker, written by my sister and I, The Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook, written by Barbara, and of course our new book, Instantly Sweet.
Thanks for being here! It means more to me than you'll ever know!
I would LOVE some yummy sugar-free recipes! I also gave up sugar a little over a year ago. The sugar monkey is finally off my back, but I would love an occasional sugar-free treat.
Karen, try the no added sweetener apple pie from my blog, it’s so so good!
My husband is a diabetic and he has a sweet tooth beyond belief. We both love banana pudding and I am looking for a recipe that will wow him. I could really, really, really, use some recipes to inspire me. Please add me to the list of entries! Thanks!
Carolyn, I love the challenge of coming up with sugar free desserts. I’ve got one coming for Valentines, stay tuned!
I love most anything with caramel… Brownies, pie, cheesecake… It’s all great with a drizzle of caramel! (#128536#)
I love dessert way too much! Thick, fudgy brownies are probably my fave. With ice cream, of course.
My favorite dessert is carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.
tough decision but it has to be a lemon layer cream cake dessert with a cheesecake layer a lemon curd layer and a cake like top layer…
Rice Pudding has to be on the top of my favorites, but then, any pudding is dreamy.
Pumpkin Cake which I look forward to every fall. Also, Chocolate Mousse any time of the year!
Favorite dessert? Hmmm, depends what day you ask me. I’m remembering a wonderful chocolate pie I used to choose in the Home Economics Cafeteria at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro when I was a faculty member there. My students knew of my love for this pie and a piece would mysteriously appear on my desk on occasion. What a nice surprise! One semester one of my graduate students was a student in their graduate program and I asked, “Do you think you could get me the recipe for that chocolate pie?” She told me she thought she could. What appeared on my desk was the recipe for 12 chocolate pies! I thought maybe I’d divide the recipe by 12 so I could make one pie, but that kind of change doesn’t always result in a great recipe.
Sigrid, What a great story! Thank you for sharing. Your students must have loved you 🙂
Salted caramel anything! I also gave up refined sugar but have found friends in coconut sugar and xylitol. A sugar free inspant pot dessert book would be so welcome!
my favorite is the white chocolate raspberry cake. my grandkids love double chocolate chip cookies!
Angie, You should try the White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake from my site. You’ll die!
strawberry shortcake, tirimisu or cheesecake. Or ice cream Or molasses cookies (:
Ooooh let me see… my favourite would have to be…
Dark chocolate mouse with cooked pears and thick cream.
Yep, that hits the spot every time…
But then, so does every other dessert I’ve ever tasted!
German Chocolate cake ice cream is if I have to choose just one favorite.
Deb E says
I gave up sugar a while ago too. My favorite dessert is a simple oatmeal cookie, probably from when I loved my grandma’s oatmeal cookies as a kid. I love using an oatmeal topping on desserts and making them a little more healthy.
Cookies. Oh how I love a delicious cookie! Almost an kind is acceptable.
This is hard! I really love a homemade dark chocolate cake with peanut butter filling, and chocolate icing, topped with chopped peanut butter cups! Your pictures look beautiful!
Vione Graham says
Cheese cake in any form!!!
I rarely make the same dessert twice! Hard to answer! I bought a Caramilk cake in a store once and then spent hours recreating a clone. I perfected it over many months really. Then named it Taramilk cake! It really is amazing with layers of homemade caramel, mousse, ganache and fudgy cake.
Tara, that sounds incredible! Do you have a link to it?
Nancy K says
Well, Creme Brûlée and New York Cheesecake vie for top spot! [Then brownies are next. Did you know that brownies almost always sell out first at bake sales?]
I’ve not had a failed recipe yet with recipes from either you or Barbara! Thanks for putting in all the hard work so we can have it easy our first time!!
I appreciate the chance to win the three cookbooks…Thank you.
Its hard to pinpoint just one dessert because I really love most ALL things sweet! If I had to choose just one favorite…. I would have to say cheesecake of any kind! (#128523#)
I love any dessert with chocolate and peanut butter together! Ice cream, cheesecake, pie, brownies, cookies! Creamy peanut butter, chunky peanut butter…You can never go wrong!
My favorite dessert is Neiman Marcus Cake, a cross between cheesecake and pound cake. I make one for my Birthday and get requests for it at family gatherings. I am looking forward to learning how to make the switch to baking via my IP. As for sugar free, I started cutting back on sugar last summer. The big change foe me was removing sugar from my daily coffee habit.
Without doubt my favorite dessert is cheesecake. This looks like a great resource for the cookbook shelf, congratulations to you both!
My mother’s buttermilk pound cake.
It’s gorgeous!!! I can’t wait to dig in!! You two did an incredible job! Seeing as I’m a cake decorator I’d have to declare MY frosting as my favorite dessert (#128527#)
Laurel, Frosting was most definitely my favorite dessert about 4 years ago, haha!
My favorite dessert would be any dessert that my mom makes.
I looooove bread pudding (minus raisins). I would love to try the s’mores one that your husband loves.
Thank you for you your blog. I love everything you share. I love trying your recipes. My family is so grateful for you!!!
My all time favorite recipe is from my mother. It is “Oatmeal cake topped with brown butter frosting. “. (We called it burnt butter frosting but that always brings weird looks from friends)
I’m not sure which I like the best, esting the cake or the wonderful smell during preparation.
Thank you for the opportunity to win these three books. I would love them all, as would my family of course!
Jill, You’re so kind, thank you a million times for being here. I can absolutely imagine that wonderful smell. Just makes me so happy!
My favorite dessert of all time is my late grandmother’s raspberry schaum torte–it tastes like heaven! Simply amazing, fluffy, yet crunchy and sweet, but not too sweet! Hands down my most requested recipe!
Karen, I’ve never even heard of this dessert, sounds incredible! Thanks for your help with titling this post!
Happy to help! And if you ever want that recipe, let me know! I am happy to share
My daughter is a dessert princess right now and she would love to make it! Thank you!
sent you a pm!
I would LOVE the recipe for the raspbery schaum torte! I love raspberries!
Marci, I love all desserts so my comment is really about your prologue which (surprising) hit my heart. I’m a great grandmother and still have wonderful memories of my mom making desserts when I was growing up. “You always need a little sweet after dinner” she would say. Making desserts with her and my daughters as my family grew…especially cookie making at Christmas. I carried on the tradition with my grandchildren and hope to do the same with my ‘greats’. I still remember my mom teaching my girls the difference in spelling ‘dessert’ vs ‘desert’…”dessert has 2 ss and you want more dessert but not more desert”. Thank you for bringing back those memories to me.
Anita, Your comment warmed my heart so much. I had forgotten how good it felt to bake with loved ones, writing this dessert cookbook brought that back to me. And your dessert spelling trick is the best!
Thank you…wishing you continued success. Anita
Susan Levine says
White Chocolate Cheesecake
I loooove cheesecake!!
I love everything with appples but one of my favorite is applesauce cake!
I love my brother’s banana pudding. He finally shared the recipe with us when I put together a family cookbook. He passed away and now we treasure the recipe even more.
Denise, Food has so much power when it comes to memories. What a wonderful blessing!
My favourite dessert is anything chocolate, especially dark chocolate!
Yvonne, Well then we are dark chocolate soul sisters 🙂
Works for me! (#128521#) And you are so correct in your post about the joys and memories shared by enjoying dessert as a family. I can vividly remember teaching my kids their fractions by baking with them (we homeschooled). It is all about the balance of healthy eating and the occasional treat that lights up the faces of young and old alike. Thank you for your honest comments…they warmed my heart! Now go have some well-deserved dark chocolate! (#128521#)
In thinking about it, I was having trouble deciding on my all-time favorite dessert. Then I thought about sitting in a good restaurant and choosing from their dessert menu, and realized that I go for cheesecake every time. So: Cheesecake!
My favorite dessert of all time is cheesecake of any kind.
Maegan McFarlane says
My favorite dessert is your tres leches peach cake!
Maegan, Seriously. If I ever decided to bag this Sugar Free deal, that will be my first indulgence!
My mother’s Chocolate Layer Cake with Marshmallows and Fudge Filling. She only made it on my birthday. I miss her every day.
Creme Brûlée! I’m so sad the coconut cream one was a fail because coconut cream pie is my favorite pie and to have the two together, well that would be so awesome!
Cecilia, Oh I haven’t taken it off my “keep trying” list yet 🙂
Chocolate pie,coconut custard pie,pecan pie,cheesecakes
Sherrie Johnson says
I can’t wait to see this new cookbook! Of course…it would be nice to have another cookbook published by you (and Barbara) that would use sweeteners other than sugar 🙂 Just sayin’. Oh, and my favorite dessert recipe of all time is one I came across two years ago. And whenever any members of my family gathers together…or any of my friends request something special…it’s my Marbled Strawberry Cheesecake. Yummy! A sauce is made cooking the strawberries…then the “syrupy sauce” is drizzled and marbled in the cheesecake! Oh…so…good! Thanks for the opportunity to win these cookbooks.
Sherrie, Haha! I don’t know if I’ll ever get to writing another book in this lifetime, but if I did, a sugar-free dessert book would totally be on the top of that list! It’s such a challenge, but so rewarding when you get one right.
Angel Food Cake!
Favorite all time dessert is strawberry pie
Cherry pie always!
I’m pretty happy with seasonal desserts and chocolate all year long! 🙂 I love german chocolate cake and really enjoyed your German chocolate cheesecake from your cook book. Yum yum.
My favorite is called “Better Than Sex Cake” aka “Better Than Anything Cake”
Listing a favorite dessert is so HARD! My favorite is probably my mum’s coconut cream pie followed closely by her sour lemon pie. They bring back such amazing childhood memories. My mum would make both each time she made pies, the coconut cream because she liked it and the sour lemon because that was my daddy’s favorite. Kids won because both pies were delicious!
Can not give a favorite s I just plain LOVE all desserts
I love cheesecake but dairy does not agree with me. I can make German chocolate cake dairy free which equally good.
Favorite dessert is raspberry cream pie.
I absolutely love Lave Cake, but have never made one myself. I would love to win your “Instantly Sweet” cookbook to learn how to make them and other wonderful recipes I can use for family gatherings during the holidays. Thank you for the opportunity.
Oh my!! It’s a toss up between NY style cheesecake or chocolate lava cake!!
Barbara Schieving says
So fun reading your post. I’m so glad you took this journey with me to create this beautiful cookbook. Hugs!!
Barbara, Thank you! What a journey! I’m so grateful for the opportunity to do it with you!
I will have to agree with your son and the S’Mores bread pudding! I probably could eat it all too!
My favorite dessert is a tie between German Pflaumenkuchen (plum cake) with a yeast-risen base / crust and cheesecakes of all flavors, including savory cheesecakes (okay….that last one isn’t really a dessert).
Apple dumplings because they remind me of my mother.
I’m a cookie girl. I could eat any dessert and still not be satisfied until I’ve had a cookie… Any cookie… They are so good!
Or my mom’s banana cream pie with a cookie crust (mmm cookies)
Lacey, Hahaha, can’t stop laughing over this comment!
My favorite dessert is pudding, any kind!!!
I love any kind of cheesecake, right along with any kind of brownie. Combine the two and it’s even better!
My favorite dessert is homemade caramel! I love to make homemade caramel apples every fall. They are to die for! People start asking me when I’m going to make them as soon as the weather turns to fall. I am so excited to have found this website! I too have gone away from refined sugar because of the awful things it does to my body and mind. I feel great, but I do miss some of my favorite fall treats come this time of year. Does your new cookbook have variations on the recipes to make them without refined sugar? If so, count me in! Looking forward to fall baking without refined sugars!
Stephanie, Most of my refined sugar-free desserts will be on my blog like the caramel apple pie. But I do have a poached pear recipe in the cookbook, but for the most part, they are all quite indulgent.
Kelly Nelson says
Dulce de Leche Cheesecake!!!
My favorite dessert of all time is my grandmother’s fudge! So creamy, melt in your mouth and chocolates! And the waltnuts add the perfect crunch!
Absolutely cheesecake but it MUST have chocolate in it!
My favorite dessert as a child, my mother’s pineapple upside down cake made in a cast iron skillet is my all time favorite.
Erin Ferre says
All the desserts look delicious! Hopefully you will consider a sugar free sweet cook book soon!
I second the vote for sugar-free sweets!
Erin, I’ve dreamt of this idea many times!
Stacy Huffhines says
Caramel apple bread pudding. It is to live for!
I love brownies (thick & fudgy). Thank you!
Any kind of Instant Pot cheesecake and rice pudding!
My favorite dessert (at least this week!) is cheesecake with sour cream topping!
My all time favorite desserts are fruit pies of any sort. I like low sugar versions, as it seems you can taste the fruit more.
Anything chocolate, cake, Brownies, pie.
Pumpkin muffins. With cherry nice cream on top.
My three favorite desserts are my great grandmother’s pecan pie, crime brûlée and lemon meringue pie!
Still love the classic chocolate chip cookies and ice cream.
Pecan Pie ala mode!!
Dessert I make the most is Eve’s Pudding, Dessert I love the most is Chocolate cake, Dessert I want to try is a poke cake! Cor blimey what a hard question and I could go on!
I love egg custard type desserts, can’t decide if I like flan, Creme Brulee, or a similar Chinese style steamed egg dessert!
Cheesecake made in my Instant Pot. It is the smoothest, creamiest, most delicious one I’ve ever had!
I would say that rhubarb and custard is my favourite dessert.
Since getting an Instant Pot, I have been loving trying all kinds of cheesecake recipes.
CheeseCake. Any and All baked type cheesecake.
Classic chocolate cake.
My favorite desert is my late mother’s coconut cake. It had a wonderful moist glaze instead of icing. No matter how many times I try, I cannot re-create that glaze, I can’t get the consistency right. I always end up with a “magic shell-like”coconut topping. But I still try every Christmas, and it always mak s me miss my mom.
Cheesecake. Any kind!
I do not think I have a favorite dessert but rather special desserts that have been made my certain family members with wonderful memories. I will default to my weekend indulgence which is sugar ice cream! It makes me happy (#128522#)
I have to go with gingerbread cake, made with stout in the recipe!
Carly Orris says
Cheesecake! Doesn’t get any better than that!
My favorite dessert of all time is Creme Brulee – of course! A close second would be my grandmother’s perfect Butterscotch pie.
I LOVE Texas sheet cake!(#128519#)
One of my favorites is White Fudge Chocolate Cake!
My grandmother’s chocolate pie
I, too, have given up sugar! I’m hoping some of these recipes can be converted to using some of the newer sugar substitutes like Monk Fruit!t Then I could make my all-time favorite chocolate lava cake!