A Buzzworthy Brunch

Nikki Baxendale
Literally Life logo

With winter days still to come but spring not far ahead, we’ve been in the mood for tea and treats that are both cozy and cheerful.  We’ve partnered with Nikki Baxendale, founder of Literally Life, to see how to bake up some delicious desserts inspired by our new bee baking collection.

With all three of our children being so close in age and being born so close to Christmas, you can imagine that the holiday season is pretty much a frenzy of gifts and treats for my family. As a result, we tend to extend the celebrations right through February.

This year as a special treat, Steve, a master of chocolate and owner of Temper Pastry in West Vancouver, invited my daughters Chloe and Lily along with a few friends to sample some spring treats.

Everything was brought to life with the new cheerful sunshine yellow and bumble bee collections from Crate and Barrel.

To set the stage, we needed a large, deep dish to showcase our sweet treat centerpiece, our lavender bread pudding.

It’s perfect served with hot chocolate and vanilla bean marshmallows. Just sit back, relax and wait for the smiles!

This amazing baking tin!  I can’t tell you how many recipes I have made already in this delightful pull apart tin. It’s fabulous. It was perfect for our beautiful vanilla bean marshmallows.

While the girls sipped their hot chocolate, Steven and I brewed a refreshing pink grapefruit tea, perfect for cleansing and calming the palate.

Our baking birthday celebration was a huge hit and I think it’s safe to say that we’ve found a favorite new family tradition.

Lavender Bread Pudding


  • 10 Croissants
  • 6 slices of white bread
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons dried culinary lavender
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup honey

Preheat oven to 325 F. Slice bread and croissants into 1″ cubes and set aside.

Combine eggs and sugar and honey in a large bowl and set aside. Bring milk and lavender to a boil and slowly whisk into egg mixture. Add butter to mixture and stir until combined.

Slowly and carefully pour over bread mixture. Stir.

Transfer to baking dish and bake for 45 to 60 minutes until golden brown.

After you have removed the dish from the oven, allow to cool slightly before serving. Drizzle with melted chocolate.

Hot Chocolate


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup of 70% chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups whipping cream

Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. In a separate pot, bring cream to a boil then pour into sugar and water mixture. Remove from heat. Whisk in cocoa powder and chocolate. Combine with immersion blender.

Pour into your sunshine mug, top with a marshmallow and dive in!

Vanilla Bean Marshmallows


  • 10 egg whites
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup corn syrup
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons gelatin
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

In a mixer on low speed, whip egg whites till frothy. Turn off mixer.

In a sauce pan, heat sugar and corn syrup until it reaches 240 F.

Bloom gelatin by dissolving in a small amount of water. Then melt to a liquid over a low heat. Cool before using but do not allow to solidify.

Turn mixer to medium speed and slowly add syrup down the side of the bowl. Add vanilla. Increase speed and whip mixture until stiff and a lukewarm temperature, approximately 15 minutes.

Spray tin with a little oil (to help the marshmallow fall out easily). Spread mixture into tin. Allow to set at room temperature until firm, about two hours.

Pink Grapefruit Tea


  • 1 cup dried apples, cut into small cubes
  • 2 cups rose hips
  • 1 teaspoon hibiscus flowers
  • 1 teaspoon citrus peels
  • 2 tablespoon pineapple bits
  • 1 tablespoon papaya
  • 1 teaspoon cornflower petals

Mix all together. Measure out 1/4 cup and place in teapot strainer. Using a tea kettle, bring 16 ounces water to boil. Once boiling, transfer to teapot and add strainer. Steep for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the strength you prefer.

Ready for spring? See how My Splendid Living creates a beautiful sun-kissed spring breakfast.

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