Rachel’s Delightful Bakes: A Trio of Sweet Surprises!

Rachel’s Delightful Bakes: A Trio of Sweet Surprises!

Personal Background & Journey

Self taught baker/pastry chef. Lover of nostalgia, the whimsical and ooey gooey baked goods. Im a trained athlete and worked in corporate tech for 10 years. But my heart has always been with baking. I love cooking as well, traveling, red wine. On the wknds Im most likely outside hiking, doing yard and garden work and spending time with my hubby and cat! Being outdoors somehow inspires me and what Km baking next!

Life Aspirations

I love entertaining and bringing joy to others. Whether its through eating my food, or watching the preparation… I know this is what Im meant to be doing!

What is Bento Box to you?

I remember the first time I had a bento. I was at a sushi restaurant here in CA and I loved the variety of foods and flavors! I love sampling food… and with a bento box, you get to do that!

What do you pack in your TAKENAKA Bento?

A variety of cookies and pastries!

What is your favorite part of our boxes and what what colors have you chosen? 

It’s the astrological femmes bento for me! The color, the amazing women! I love it so much ☺️


Pineapple Cakes

Pineapple Cakes

What you need 

What you need

Pastry dough:

100 grams unsalted butter
40 grams granulated sugar
25 grams powdered milk
230 grams cake flour
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1-2 tsp milk (optional)

Pineapple Jam Filling:

2 tsp. Olive oil
2 tsp. Red wine vinegar 
Small drizzle of. Honey
1 tsp. Lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste 

Blood Orange Salad:

330 grams fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped, finely
115 grams granulated sugar
40 grams unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
¼ tsp fresh orange juice
½ tsp orange zest

What to do:

1. For the pastry dough, use a food processor to blend all dry ingredients. Cut in your butter and pulse until butter is evenly distributed. Add egg and egg yolk and pulse until your dough comes together. You can add 1-2 tsp of milk if your mix is too dry. But no more than a tsp or two.

2. Wrap your dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

3. For the pineapple filling, place your pineapple in a strainer, and let the juices drain into a bowl beneath the strainer. You can use a wooden spoon to push on the pineapple, this will push the juices out!

4. In a medium sized saucepan, over medium heat, cook pineapple, sugar, lemon juice and salt. (Note: you will see the juices from the pineapple evaporate, this is good, we want to dry out the pineapple, this could take about 20-30 minutes). Once pineapple is cooked down, remove from the heat and add butter. Pour pineapple mix into a bowl and refrigerate until ready to fill pastries.

5. Take 8-10 (this depends on how large you want your cakes, and how many molds you have) metal square molds and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Take your dough out of the fridge and divide into 8 or 10 equal pieces of dough. You will want to press or roll out each piece of dough so that it is flat and ready for pineapple filling. I usually place my dough in between two pieces of plastic wrap and roll out with a rolling pin.

6. Once your dough is all rolled out, place about a 1-1 ½ tsp of pineapple filling onto each flattened piece of dough. Mold the dough around the pineapple, then press the dough into each metal mold. Try to leave a little room at the top and edges of each mold, as pastries will expand as they bake.

7. Once all pastries are assembled, place your cookie sheet in the fridge to chill for 20-30 min. Preheat oven to 335 degrees, and bake pastries for 8 minutes on one side- then using tongs flip pastries and bake for another 6-8 minutes. Pastries will be golden brown and a little tender to touch when removed from the oven. That’s ok!

8. You can serve warm, but personally like my pastries to sit overnight in a sealed container and enjoy at room temperature. The flavors have time to set and the texture in general just gets better after 12-24 hours! Cookies will last for 3 days in fridge or at room temperature!


Cinnamon Roll Cruffins

Cinnamon Roll Cruffins

What you need


1 sheet puff pastry
4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temp
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
4 tsp heavy whipping cream, room temp

Cream Cheese Glaze:

2oz cream cheese, softened
1tbsp milk, room temp
½ cup powdered sugar
¼ tsp vanilla

What to do:

1. Follow puff pastry thawing instructions. I usually leave my pastry out on the counter for about 1 hour, so it is soft enough to roll out. In a medium size bowl mix butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt until the mix becomes a smooth paste.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a muffin tin with cooking spray or melted butter.

3. On a floured surface, roll out puff pastry. Spread the cinnamon sugar filling from edge to edge. Cut pastry into 8-9 strips. Roll each strip up like a rug, then place in greased muffin pan. Pour ½ tsp of heavy whipping cream on each roll.

4. Bake for 30-33 minutes. After 5 minutes of cooling, using a butter knife, remove cruffins from pan.

5. For the cream cheese glaze, mix all ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.

6. Drizzle cream cheese glaze over the warm cruffins. Serve cruffins warm! Cruffins are perishable- consume same day or refrigerate for up to 1 day if there are leftovers.


Buttery Shortbread Cookies

Buttery Shortbread Cookies

What you need

1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 cups flour
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp almond extract

What to do:

1. Using a stand mixer with fitted paddle attachment, mix butter and powdered sugar until smooth.

2. Sift in flour and salt and mix until barely combined. Dough will be a little crumbly, that is ok!

3. Pour dough onto plastic wrap and wrap tightly. Flatten into a disc, or form into a log if you want to slice and bake.

4. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, I like to chill my dough overnight.

5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove your dough from fridge and let it set on the counter for about 30 min, maybe an hour depending on the temperature in your kitchen. Sprinkle flour on your counter (or a large board) and roll out your dough to about ½ inch thick.

6. Using cookie cutters, cut dough into desired shapes. Place your shapes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill for about 30 min before baking. If you intend to slice and bake, remove the dough from the fridge, slice and bake.

7. Bake for 9-10 minutes. After about 3-5 min of cooling, using a spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack.

Rachel’s Delightful Bakes: A Trio of Sweet Surprises!

Rachel’s Delightful Bakes: A Trio of Sweet Surprises!