Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

It is that time of year again! Pumpkin season!!! One of my friends requested coffee cupcakes and I had a coffee frosting recipe that I decided to spice up. Haha! The recipe calls for instant coffee and I added Starbucks Pumpkin Spice instant coffee instead. My recipe was flawed because it called for only a quarter cup of confectioners' sugar. I don't remember where I found this recipe but I knew I needed more sugar. Most frosting recipes call for 4 to 5 cups of powdered sugar. Not sure exactly how much sugar I used but just add enough until it is spreadable. I frosted chocolate cupcakes because for some reason in my head chocolate and coffee go together.

Coffee frosting:
8 tablespoons of butter (room temperature)
2-4 cups of confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup of milk
3/4 teaspoon of instant coffee
1/4 teaspoon of salt

1. Heat milk for 30 seconds in the microwave and then add instant coffee and salt. Whisk the mixture until the coffee is dissolved.
2. Beat butter in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. 
3. Reduce mixer speed to low.  Add confectioners' sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating for a few seconds between each addition.  Increase mixer speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes. 
4. Add the coffee mixture and beat on low speed to combine. 
5. Scrape down sides and bottom of the bowl.  Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until fluffy.

Happy Fall Ya'll!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Chocolate and Raspberry Cupcakes

I love chocolate and raspberry as a flavor combination!!! At Christmas my mom is always stuffing my stocking with Ghirardelli raspberry squares. And now Mars company is meeting my craving needs with dark chocolate and raspberry M&Ms. When I read Diane's recipe I knew I had to give it a try!

My first challenge was to locate raspberry extract. For some reason I thought I saw some at Publix a while back and oh was I wrong. (Always seems to be the case when trying to eliminate multiple stops on the way home.) Michael's is across the street from my Publix so I gave them a ring to only be let down. Luckily not a mile from my house is a fabulous store called Cake Art and they have almost everything you need for baking including raspberry extract. I say almost because while I was there I asked them to order University of Georgia baking pans. If you are not a Bulldog fan, then they do have everything you need!

The recipe is a doctored cake mix which is a good thing when trying to save time over a long holiday weekend. (I baked these over my 5 day Labor Day weekend.) All went well with the cupcakes. Then came the icing! My mom and I contemplated whether or not to leave out the raspberry jello in the icing. Needless to say it tastes a little gritty. Not sure if we should have mixed it longer. The next day when I shared some with my small group the icing had a more pleasing texture. It is up to you if you want to experiment with jello in frosting. Next time I will leave it out. With all my baking experiences there are bound to be some failures. Doesn't help that I'm a perfectionist. Let's just say my parents, coworkers, and small group were not complaining when it came time for the taste test!

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with Raspberry M&M’s


  • 1 Chocolate Cake Mix (Betty Crocker’s Devils Food)
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons raspberry jello*
  • 1 teaspoon raspberry extract
Raspberry Frosting
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons raspberry extract and 3 tablespoons raspberry jello*
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • Beat butter and shortening, add in sugar, milk and extract and coloring. Mix until smooth and creamy.
  1. Prepare cake mix with butter and milk instead of oil and water that it suggests and add eggs one at a time until incorporated.
  2. Place mix in cupcake lined cupcake pan and bake according to package and oven temperature. Test cupcakes at minimum time to be sure they won’t be dry. I bake mine at 325 degrees as mine pans are dark and my cupcakes are finished at the minimum time it suggests.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sweet Dee's Bakeshop

Tucker, GA  has a cupcake shop!!! I didn't think I would ever see the day. They have spent a lot of money revitalizing downtown Tucker to include sidewalks, benches, and new lamp posts. So fancy! This sleepy train town is coming to life!

Sweet Dee's Bakeshop is an adorable little space. I went a few weeks ago and created my own cupcake but I ate it before snapping a picture. Whoops! I had a chocolate cupcake with raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream. It was delish!!! Thus far they are the only ones I've encountered that have a "create your own cupcake" option. Each day they have a different selection of cupcakes, icing, filling, and toppings. Once you make your selection they make your cupcake right in front of you!
Friday night I took my mom in and we each got our own cupcake. She chose a lemon cupcake and let me sample it. Wow was it lemon! I'm still trying to figure out how they got the icing so lemon. I selected a chocolate and peanut butter cupcake. The Reese's pieces on top lured me in. (And yes Reese's pieces make me think of E.T. - I'm a big fan). I was slightly disappointed. This was my first time trying a peanut butter cupcake and I guess I didn't know what to expect. I love peanut butter so maybe my expectations were too high. Oh well! Now I know. Next time I'll have to get my very own lemon cupcake.

The next time you are craving a cupcake and happen to be near the Tucker area, swing on by to Sweet Dee's Bakeshop!

Friday, July 20, 2012

S'more Cupcakes

I love s'mores so much so that I typically make them in the microwave. That is not the best way but I'm rarely by a camp fire. Well, actually I'm never by a camp fire because camping is not my thing. Anyway, I just had to try s'more cupcakes! I baked up some chocolate cupcakes, frosted them with marshmallow creme, sprinkled some graham crackers on top, and the final most important part was a Hershey's chocolate square.

Let me just warn you, in case you didn't know, that marshmallow creme is STICKY! And it gets everywhere so beware. The frosting recipe is another one of Betty Crocker's sure things. Don't put the marshmallow creme jar in the microwave as instructed - Jet Puff now sells a plastic jar instead of glass. I halved this recipe because I only had 10 cupcakes (don't even ask what happened to the other 14..hehe) and it worked perfectly! I sampled some of the frosting and felt like I needed to schedule a dentist appointment ASAP. Wow! The powdered sugar and the marshmallow is sweet! To quote one of my fav Food Network personalities, Jamie Deen, "ooooooo dawgies". Not sure if Jamie actually uses the University of Georgia spelling of dog but he is a Bulldog fan so it just seems right.  Go Dawgs!!! Sick 'em. I mean gee wow those cupcakes are delicious.

The weather was dark and stormy when it came time for these guys to have a close up so the pictures are not amazing. I didn't even bother pulling out my Nikon because I knew with the lighting situation that my iphone would do the job.

My small group and coworkers raved about these cupcakes. One of my small group members even said that these are her favorite because she is not a huge frosting fan. Success!

These cupcakes were the perfect treat for such gloomy weather but you could make them anytime you are craving that s'more and camp fire feel. (For the non camping folks like me - just bake it!)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Hamburger Cupcakes

After I completed the Wilton cake decorating class last year I discovered the idea of making hamburger cupcakes and filed it away for later. Well my dad loves hamburgers so I decided to make these for him.

I opted to bake vanilla and chocolate cupcakes from a box. After baking the vanilla cupcakes top them with sesame seeds. Cut the vanilla cupcake in half. Then cut the chocolate cupcakes in half or thirds for the "meat". Pipe red frosting on one end of the vanilla cupcake and yellow frosting on the other end with a large or small round tip. Some bakers added tinted green coconut for lettuce but I'm not crazy about coconut. But I did add a dollop of vanilla frosting to the center of each cupcake to help the cupcakes stick to each other since the "mustard" and "ketchup" are only on the edges.

The end result looks like sliders which kind of plays with your mind because the taste is sweet. Happy Grilling!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sunflower Cupcakes

Sunflowers are my favorite. I've been wanting to decorate these adorable things for a while now. I had 6 regular cupcakes and 12 mini cupcakes in the freezer - love when that happens! Many options are out there for creating the center. For the mini cupcakes, I had my baking assistant (mom) place dollops of chocolate frosting in the center with a toothpick. Then she put three chocolate chips in the center of the regular size cupcakes. You could always add more chocolate chips but I love frosting. Speaking of frosting, I tinted vanilla buttercream yellow and used the leaf tip to create petals. Overlapping the petals makes for a more realistic sunflower. No mishaps with these cupcakes. I think that may be because the last cake mom and I baked together came out a little too moist. Someone added too much butter but I'm not going to say who. What happens in the kitchen sometimes has to stay in the kitchen, right? Anyway I think we were both paying extra attention this time.

Here's to sweet summer time!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Two Blueberry Recipes!

Last  year I went to Berry Patch Farms and picked blueberries with my sorority alum chapter. I tried to talk my mom into going back with me but she was not interested. Luckily this year I was able to talk her into going to Washington Farms in Watkinsville, GA. We had so much fun on Wednesday picking blueberries and strawberries. Sadly all the ripe blackberries were gone by the time we arrived (only two hours after they opened). I guess that means I just have to go back.

With half a gallon of blueberries in the refrigerator (may be a little less since mom and I split them), I started searching the food blogs for ideas of what to bake. I discovered a fabulous recipe for a Lemon Curd Blueberry Tart at Foodologie. This was my second attempt at making a tart and the first at preparing homemade lemon curd. My mom wanted me to buy lemon curd at the grocery store which I considered for a split second given that I'm not a double boiler expert. I committed to the homemade option after learning that lemon curd is $3.69 for a 10 oz. jar at Publix. Homemade just seems "healthier" when you read the ingredients of the store bought version. Mom and I struggled to get the lemon curd to thicken. After 15 minutes we took it off the stove, added the butter, and hoped for the best. It turned out great! Such an amazing flavor with blueberries and the graham cracker crust.

My great grandmother's tart pan did not have such a happy ending though. She gave the pan to my mom decades ago after asking my mom, "Do you know what to do with this?" About five years ago I found the pan buried under all the other pans in my mom's kitchen and gave it a go with a Kraft foods recipe that consisted of jello and fruit. It was good but we didn't know how to get it out of the pan neatly. The same thing happened this time and I decided it was time for us part ways with the tart pan. Other tarts I've seen online do no look like this pan. It was sentimental but I think I'm better off purchasing a new tart pan or maybe some tartlets. Sorry I didn't post more pics but I think you can understand given the pan situation.

Lemon Blueberry Tartlets
1 package graham crackers
6 tbsp melted butter
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice (about the juice of 2 lemons)
4 tbsp butter, softened
zest of 2 lemons
1-2 cups blueberries

Make your crust:
Crush the graham crackers, pour melted butter over graham cracker crumbs.  Toss to combine and press into one large tart pan or about 5 mini tartlet pans.  Refrigerate.
Make Lemon Filling:
Place a stainless steel or glass bowl over a pot of boiling water.  In the bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice.  Stir over the double boiler until thick.  This will take about 10 minutes.  Carefully remove from heat and stir in the butter and lemon zest.  Set aside and allow to cool completely.  You can make this a day or two in advance and just keep it refrigerated.
Assemble Tartlets:
Spoon lemon filling into prepared graham cracker crusts.  Arrange blueberries over the filling.  Sprinkle with a little powdered sugar to make it look extra special.
Serve immediately or refrigerate.  Makes 5 mini tartlets or 1 large tart.

Next up is blueberry scones. Anything dough like is intimidating to me. Thankfully my mom mastered my great grandmother's biscuit recipe recently and she was present for the scone making. I found this recipe at This was much easier than the lemon curd. Lol. Mom was not understanding how to cut the dough into wedges but once I compared it to pizza she was on board. Someone commented on the site that these freeze well so we shall find out the next time I'm ready to sit down with one of these delicious scones and a hot cup of tea or coffee.

Blueberry Scones


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk, divided
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries


  • In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a bowl, whisk eggs and 3/4 cup milk; add to dry ingredients just until moistened. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; gently knead in the blueberries.
  • Divide the dough in half. Pat each portion into an 8-in. circle; cut each into eight wedges. Place on greased baking sheets. Brush with remaining milk. Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Serve warm. Yield: 16 scones.

One cup of blueberries remain in the refrigerator. I may freeze them but then again I may bake blueberry muffins. Oh how I love berries!

Happy Summer!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Cupcake Bouquet

A while back I discovered cupcake bouquets and filed the idea in my memory as an awesome Mother's Day surprise. Last year I made brunch for my mom and purchased tulips (her favorite flower) for the center piece. Now that I have a Wilton cake decorating class under my belt I knew I could tackle this beautiful and life like creation. I planned another brunch for this year and was excited to see my mom's reaction to the center piece.

Couple of months before May I purchased 12" wooden dowels, semi circle shaped floral foam, a flower pot, green tissue paper, and Wilton Color Mist. As Mother's Day approached I became nervous and doubted my abilities. I realized that 12" wooden dowels would not work even though I remember it being mentioned in a blog. Thursday before Mother's Day my coworker said, "You should have had your skills down last week." I knew I would assemble the cupcake bouquet an hour before my mom arrived which would not give much time for any emergencies or accidents. Quickly I began searching the web and You Tube for techniques on how to produce this amazing bouquet for my wonderful mother.

The following are suggestions that I comprised from my search on the world wide web with some of my modifications:
1. You can use any size container or pot.
2. Ripping green tissue paper will create pretty leaves. Use a knife or dowel to "tuck" the leaves between the cupcakes.
3. Frost your cupcakes the day before or several hours a head of time so the butter cream crusts and will stay in place when it is time to assemble.
4. Place the cupcakes in the fridge an hour or more before you assemble so the cupcakes are firm and not as moist.
5. Wrap the floral foam in plastic wrap so you don't get pieces of foam on your cupcakes.
6. Use toothpicks! Two toothpicks for regular size cupcakes and one cupcake for mini cupcakes.
7. With a knife poke the under side of the cupcake so that the cupcake easily slides onto the toothpicks.
8. Tip 2D makes fabulous roses. Other flower options are out there and it just depends on what you like.
9. Watch You Tube videos and research images, etc online to calm your nerves and help you prepare for the assembly process.

Let me just say that Color Mist Food Color Spray from Wilton is amazing!!! I find that tinting icing is tedious and when I saw this at a craft store I knew it would be awesome for roses. However, I had another freak out moment when I read the instructions. It is basically like spay paint for frosting so don't ignore the cover your workspace instruction. It made them look natural which I know sounds weird but it took my mom a few minutes to realize the bouquet on the table was really cupcakes.

For Christmas my parents gave me The Big Book of Cupcakes from Betty Crocker. I tried the from scratch vanilla cupcake recipe. They are delish but of course the parents like the other vanilla recipe I've made in the past because it tastes like wedding cake. So hard to please. Geez!

Assembling the bouquet was easy so all my time researching paid off. Of course the look on my mom's face when she realized the bouquet was made of cupcakes was PRICELESS! Truly, you can all make cupcake bouquets and wow your friends and family.

Mother's Day Brunch:
I think I have shared my love for the Food Network in the past. I decided to make all of these recipes after seeing them on Paula's Best Dishes and Barefoot Contessa. My mom and I love the zucchini and sun dried tomato quiche from the DeKalb Farmer's Market so it made it's appearance at this years brunch too.

Baked Blintzes with Fresh Blueberry Sauce

Quiche and Blintz

Strawberry Butter served with croissants

Berry Parfait

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Creamy Fruit Salad

So I get bored with yogurt and the various snacks I pack to eat at work. I decided to start trying recipes from my fav blogs to help liven things up during the week. I love trying the recipes on the Six Sisters' Stuff blog. One day Creamy Fruit Salad popped up in my Google Reader and I thought it would be a great alternative to yogurt and add another serving of fruit to the day. Oh yeah!

Of course I freaked out just slightly when I read that one ingredient is sour cream. I like sour cream. No bad feelings towards it but I wondered how it would be with fruit. Thankfully they urged readers to not worry and suggested yogurt as alternative. I decided I would put on my 'big girl panties' (my mom says this a lot - weird) and go for it. You can't even tell it is sour cream. I wouldn't lie to you. I promise.

We had a breakfast to show our appreciation for the our nurse on the team for Nurses Week. I considered a Lemon Blueberry Muffin Cake (also from Six Sisters' Stuff) but after I made this salad on Monday I knew it would be a yummy breakfast treat. Needless to say I did not hear any complaints from my coworkers.

The first time I made it for myself I added 2 cups of marshmallows but I must say I like it better with 1 cup. That may just be me so try it and see what you think.

Side note: I asked my mom about recipes she has from her grandmothers and what recipes we have from my grandmothers. One of my great grandmothers made the best biscuits but rarely wrote down her recipes. My mom to this day is still trying to make biscuits like her grandmother. Last weekend she was pretty close! I may need to search out these recipes just like the sisters from Six Sisters' Stuff.

Grandma's Five Cup Creamy Fruit Salad
1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
1-2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup sour cream (light works great)*

*Don't be scared of the sour cream! I know it sounds weird. I promise that all the sweetness from the other ingredients evens it all out. It's delicious!

Make sure your fruit is VERY well-drained or you will have a watery salad. Combine the oranges, pineapple, marshmallows, coconut, and sour cream. Stir until all mixed together. Refrigerate for 4-8 hours before serving.

-Use vanilla yogurt in place of sour cream.
-Use Pina Colada yogurt in place of sour cream.
-Add 1/2 cup maraschino cherries.
-Add chopped pecans for a crunch.
-Top with corn flakes for a crunch.
-Use Cool-Whip in place of sour cream.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Tres Leches Cake

Saturday was Cinco de Mayo and I was considering baking Tres Leches cupcakes but I decided to just make the cake. I've been watching the Pioneer Woman on Food Network and thought it was time to try one of her recipes. Low and behold she has a recipe for Tres Leches Cake. It was easy to make and tasted great. My mom made the cake before I arrived and together we made the milk mixture and whipped cream. Punching holes in the cake was fun!

I served it with marachino cherries one day and strawberries the next. Personally I think the strawberries taste the best. Of course my chocoholic father had to basically turn it into strawberry shortcake with chocolate syrup. Crazy!

Saturday night was also the night of the super moon. The moon was 30% brighter and 14% bigger - per the meteorologist.

Maybe one day I will try the cupcakes but cake was just right for our Cinco de Mayo celebration by the pool.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Review of Duncan Hines Frosting Creations

I keep seeing commercials for the new Duncan Hines frosting. Every time it comes on I think "I need to try that" and every time I go to the grocery store I forget to buy it. Ugh! The Target near me was renovated to now include more grocery items so I finally remembered to pick up this frosting. If you haven't heard about it, then you are in for a treat. The frosting is plain white and they sell "mix ins" in different flavors. Not sure I want bubble gum or cotton candy frosting but they have more "normal" flavors like Mint Chocolate and White Chocolate Raspberry. I selected Chocolate Almond to go on top of my Strawberry cupcakes. Please don't judge me for serving up frosting from a can on top of a box cupcake. It is tasty I promise! Anyway, you make a hole in the frosting and pour in the powdery mix and then stir. All of a sudden you have chocolate frosting! Amazing! My only gripe is that the frosting is a bit runny (my opinion). I'm just accustomed to the stiffness from the meringue powder in butter cream I guess. I was able to spread on the frosting but it is not likely that you can pipe this frosting. The next time you are in a pinch for frosting or want to try something new then check make your own Frosting Creation!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Chocolate Chip Quinoa Trail Mix Balls

OK so this is really healthy compared to my other posts. Well, the chocolate chips help. Anyway I've been going to a Body Works class at LA Fitness for over a year. I look forward to going to this class. If you are a gym rat, then you know the instructor is awesome if you actually look forward to the class. My friends in the class suggested we should make CDs for our instructor's birthday (as a gift for her but so we can hear new music in class = win win). I saw this recipe at Eat, Live, Run and brought it to class for a "healthy Birthday treat".  I knew cupcakes would result in our instructor making us do more squats and lunges - she really cares about our butts. Her saying about our butts is "if you don't care about your butt then no one else will." Too funny!

The recipe was really easy and I was able to double it with no problem. The smell of honey and vanilla on the stove was invigorating! Skip this recipe if you don't like getting your hands dirty and buy packaged trail mix bars.  If you have never heard of quinoa then this is a good way to give it a try and click on the link to learn more about it. Everyone seemed to enjoy them and I had a few requests for the recipe!

Chocolate Chip Quinoa Trail Mix Balls
by Jenna at Eat, Live, Run
makes about 14 bite-sized balls
1 cup old fashioned or quick-cooking oats, dry
1/4 cup quinoa, dry + 3/4 cup water
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup dried cherries, raisins or cranberries
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
Combine the quinoa and water in a small saucepot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 12 minutes, until quinoa has absorbed all the liquid. Fluff and scoop quinoa into a large mixing bowl.
Add sunflower seeds, oats, dried cherries and coconut to quinoa and mix well. Bring honey to a simmer on the stove then stir in the vanilla extract and pour on top of nuts and seeds. Mix until well combined.
Let mixture cool before adding the chocolate chips, peanut butter and sea salt. Mix well with your hands so the peanut butter is evenly dispersed but be careful not to melt the chocolate chips!
Using wet hands, gently roll mixture into golf ball-sized balls. Place balls on a plate and chill for at least two hours until firm.
2 1/2 hours (includes time to chill)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Brownie Cupcakes

Last week I went to the Food Truck Festival in Athens, GA and finally checked out the Yum Yum Cupcakes and More truck. I sampled the Betty cupcake which was a brownie cupcake with ducle de leche buttercream. It was amazing! My dad didn't try it but requested that I make brownie cupcakes for Easter.

I found a Chocolate Brownie Cupcake recipe at Then I apparently left my brain some where because when I got to my parents house I realized that I left the shortening and meringue powder at my house. Luckily I found this wonderful buttercream recipe at and halved the recipe because the cupcake recipe only yielded 12 cupcakes. Also, I added caramel sauce to the buttercream. On a few cupcakes I drizzled more caramel which was a mistake because it was too much caramel that affected the flavor of the chocolate chips in the cupcake - may just be personal taste or the fact that Ghirardelli semi-sweet chips were baked inside the cupcake. Cake Art is a store down the street from me and that is where I found the adorable flowers you see sticking up in the middle of the cupcakes. The cupcake liners are from Target. Thanks mom for providing the Easter decorations. So cute!

All in all these cupcakes are delicious. I would suggest making them at  your next gathering!

Brownie Cupcakes


  1. 3/4 cup flour
  2. 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  3. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  6. 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  7. 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  8. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  9. 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  10. 3 eggs
  11. 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 325F and use muffin pan lined with paper liners.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together granulated and brown sugars and butter until smooth. Whisk in vanilla and almond extract. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture, beating until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Scoop batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 28 minutes or until a tester inserted into center comes out with a few crumbs attached and a little melted chocolate. The tops of cupcakes will not spring back when touched.
  5. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack.
  6. Top cooled cupcakes with favorite frosting.

Buttercream Icing


  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk


  1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and vanilla. Blend in the sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk, and continue mixing until light and fluffy. Keep icing covered until ready to decorate.

Betty Cupcake

Happy Easter!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Rainbow Cupcakes

I started thinking about what cupcakes I wanted to bake for St. Patrick's Day. My freezer contained lots of different colors of icing from my projects over the past few months. So I thought it would be great to frost vanilla cupcakes with all of these wonderful, vibrant colors. Many people have said that buttercream icing will last in the freezer for months and I was not quite sure how long that would be but I got my answer on Saturday. I began icing my cupcakes and you know if you have done this before that icing always lands on the outside of your hand. Well I did not resist the urge to lick it off. And I'm glad that I did because the orange icing tasted like the inside of a freezer! I asked Mom to taste some of the other icing we were about to use and she agreed that it tasted strange. Luckily the green icing that was already on two of the cupcakes tasted normal. I scraped off the orange and was like now what????

During the Christmas holiday I learned a new trick on the Our Best Bites blog. They baked peppermint cupcakes and made a red swirl in the icing by painting red stripes with food coloring inside the pastry bag. I completely forgot about this technique until I saw it again on the Tracey's Culinary Adventures blog. Tracey made rainbow icing by painting all the colors of the rainbow inside a pastry bag. I planned to try this out with some white icing I made earlier in the week. Needless to say this solved my icing dilemma. Of course the peanut gallery (aka Dad) piped up and said "Just go to Ingles and buy some in a can. That works for me." Ugh Dad that does not work for me! Anyway I was not sure how this was going to turn out because it was a little challenging to paint the food coloring inside the bag. It didn't seem like enough. But I was pleased with the end result. My parents said they liked my rainbow icing better than Tracey's. Mom said "it looks like a rainbow inside puffs of clouds." Maybe Mom and Dad are biased. Sorry Tracey, I like your icing and thanks for the idea.

I baked vanilla cupcakes from my go to recipe. A friend suggested that I chop up Andes mints and add it to the batter. This was an awesome suggestion because I could not find creme de mint Hershey's kisses when I was at Publix. Well it was great until I went to eat one and all the chocolate was at the bottom. I guess chopped up Andes mints are not the same as chocolate chips. It is interesting how the whole cupcake tastes minty even though the chocolate is at the bottom. We live and learn. Next time I will have to research another method for adding mints.

An Old Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Strawberry Cupcakes

My coworker is having a baby girl next month so I decided to bring in some cupcakes to celebrate on Friday. And yes any reason to celebrate with cupcakes will do for me. We ordered lunch from Kitsch'n 155 because the mom to be was craving a burger and fries (I had a wonderful egg salad sandwich).

Any who, I was on the baking isle of the grocery store and noticed that Duncan Hines makes a Strawberry Supreme mix. Pink cupcakes for a baby girl sounded good to me. I topped the cupcakes with PINK vanilla buttercream and added "elegance" with white sugar pearls. When you are in a pinch for time then rely on Duncan Hines for a moist cupcake. Yum!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Silver Lining Cupcake Co.

Saturday afternoon my mom and I checked out Silver Lining Cupcake Co. in Athens, GA. I've been following this shop for a while on Facebook after finding them online when I was searching for UGA cupcake ideas. Side note: I found a silicone "super G" chocolate mold on Saturday at University Spirit but didn't purchase it because it was $16.99. At least I know where I can buy one now.

Anyway back to these amazing cupcakes! The store is located in an industrial type "shopping center" and is decorated with adorable cupcake art on the walls and cupcake containers on the tables. I own one of the same containers myself (yay Gardenridge). I picked out the Rise and Shine cupcake which is a cinnamon cupcake with maple buttercream and topped with your choice of bacon or a raspberry. I chose a raspberry because I just have not been able to embrace bacon on top of cupcakes yet. I know it is all the rage...whatever. It was French Toast in the afternoon - a nice breakfast delight. Mom selected Raspberry Lemonade - raspberry cake with a raspberry center topped with lemon buttercream and a raspberry drizzle. Mom said "it is like summer time in your mouth". Of course we sampled each cupcake and left with a smile. Both cupcakes had just the right amount of icing and the cake was moist. The ingredients seemed really fresh. They bake these yummy things on site as we saw their KitchenAid stand mixers in the back. My only regret is not getting a cup of coffee because it would have been a fabulous pairing with my cupcake. But it was in the afternoon and we were headed to the Gym Dogs meet. And yes the Dawgs beat LSU!! Go Dawgs!

We both strongly encourage you to check out this cute cupcake shop the next time you are in Dawg country. Luckily I live far enough a way and cannot frequent this place often.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cream Cheese Chocolate Cupcakes

Surprisingly I'm growing tired of baking cupcakes. Not sure if I lost my inspiration or what. Maybe it is because I've baked cupcakes for the past three Saturdays. Either way I wanted to make cupcakes for the Alpha Gam alumni game night I hosted at my house tonight. I first was thinking I would make a cupcake out of inspiration from my favorite childhood game - Candyland. But then I decided ice cream cone cupcakes are a little childish. I think I was fascinated with baking a cupcake inside an ice cream cone. I remembered I saved a simple yet delicious recipe from the How About Orange blog.

This is my first time baking cupcakes without frosting. With the gooey cream cheese and chocolate chip center, I really did not miss the frosting. Shocking, I know.The recipe was simple but the chocolate batter was runny which was challenging when filling the muffin wells. I was unaware that Reese's makes peanut butter chips and oh man they are yummy. So glad I decided to use chocolate and peanut butter chips instead of just chocolate. Now I need to find another purpose for the rest of the Reese's chips...hmm.

All of the girls enjoyed the cupcake and one said it was moist which I have to agree. And if you are not a frosting fan then you will love these cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Chocolate Cupcakes
Filling:1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. sugar
1 egg
1/8 tsp. salt
1 c. chocolate chips
1 c. peanut butter chips (or just use more chocolate if you want)

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. baking cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. water
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 Tbs. white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla

In a bowl, beat cream cheese. Add sugar, egg, salt. Mix well. Fold in chips. Set aside. For cupcakes, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Mix well. Fill paper-lined muffin cups half full with batter. Top each with 2 Tbs. of cream cheese mixture. Bake at 350ยบ for 25-30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan. Makes 18.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Snickers Cupcakes

One of my friends recently purchased his first home so a few of us decided to check it out after church on Sunday and then play some board games. Apples to Apples is a fav of ours! I asked my friend what his favorite cake is and of course he said snickers cheesecake. Well I knew right a way that cheesecake was out because the cupcakes would be in my car until we got to his house. I searched the world wide web and found a great recipe on the My Baking Addiction blog.

Surprisingly this is the second week of doctored cake mixes. I'm really coming around to this idea because you really cannot tell. This was my first time adding instant pudding to the mix. It was really gooey and a bit messy. Adding the frozen mini snickers was fun and for the most part it came out well. The recipe says it may make more than 24 cupcakes. With the extra batter I made a little cake in a ramekin. Apparently I should have made several extra cakes because some of the cupcakes came out with muffin tops. There was a hole where the cupcake fell in around the snickers on some of them. Nothing a little frosting couldn't fix though.

Instead of the frosting recipe that Jamie, My Baking Addiction author, used I decided to add caramel topping to the Wilton butter cream recipe. I'm not a fan of butter because it requires refrigeration and piping may be challenging. I ended up not piping these anyway due to time and wondering how the caramel would pipe. Also, I knew the cupcake was rich and did not want the frosting to be overwhelming.

The end result was a hit! I heard a lot of "these are good, thank you". You are welcome friends! And yes my small group will get to sample this recipe because the other dozen cupcakes and frosting are in the freezer.

Snickers Cupcakes

Makes 24-30 cupcakes
For the cake:
1 (18.25 ounce) package devil’s food cake mix
1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs; lightly beaten
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon of vanilla
24-30 frozen Snickers Miniatures

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line (2) 12 cup muffin tins with paper liners.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs, vanilla and water.
4. Evenly divide the batter amongst the prepared pans. {I use a large cookie scoop from OXO to scoop my batter; it holds 3 tablespoons}.
5. Gently push a frozen Snickers Miniature bar into the center of the batter and smooth the surface making sure to cover the candy bar with batter.
6. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean.
7. Cool cupcakes thoroughly on wire rack.

For the frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter; room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup caramel topping; plus more for drizzling
1/4 teaspoon salt

Method1. Cream the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer. Add the vanilla extract, salt and caramel syrup and combine well.
2. Begin adding in the sugar and mixing thoroughly after each addition. After all of the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, give it a taste and decide if you want to add in more caramel syrup. For thicker frosting you can gradually add in a little more sugar.

Garnish with chopped Snickers bars and a drizzle of caramel of caramel syrup.
Not a fan of Snickers? Sub in your favorite candy bar, just make sure you freeze them first.
Not a fan of vegetable shortening? No worries, simply sub in butter for the shortening.