Saturday, December 10, 2011

It's been a while...

Man! Things have been a little hectic over here in my little corner of the world. I think a proper blog is due but tonight I just wanted to share one of the best cupcake recipes EVER. Ever since I was little Cinnamon Toast Crunch has been my favorite cereal besides Corn Flakes of course. I was browsing over on Pinterest and saw the recipe for these amazing cupcakes and knew I HAD to make them. I wasn't prepared for how delicious these would truly be! I had to share the recipe too good to keep to myself :) WARNING: the frosting is to die for so please do not try to eat and hoard the whole bowl of it before you decorate the cupcakes as I tried to do!

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cupcakes (recipe from: Your Cup of Cake)

Cinnamon Cake:
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
¾ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup sour cream
Vanilla Cake Mix (not white cake mix)
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup Cinnamon Toast Crunch, lightly crushed

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Buttercream:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup Cinnamon Toast Crunch powder (make sure it's powder if not it will clog your tip and frosting bag when you try to pipe the frosting on the cupcakes)
(Crush the cereal in a bag and then sift out 2/3 cup leave some for garnishing on top)

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with 20-22 cupcake liners.
2.In a large bowl, gently combine eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla.
3.Mix in sour cream.
4.Add cake mix and cinnamon and mix until smooth.
5.Stir in lightly crushed cereal.
6.Fill cupcake liners ¾ full and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
7.Buttercream: Beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add Cinnamon Toast Crunch powder. Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Adjust the consistency using milk if it is too thick. ( I also added a half a teaspoon of cinnamon...cause I love the stuff!)
8.Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and top with some cinnamon toast crunch powder and Cinnamon Toast Crunch squares.

These were a major hit! Perfect for all those Christmas parties right now :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

copycat I am

         I'm not really one to really order dessert when I go out to dinner but whenever I go to Applebee's I have to order a Maple Butter Blondie. I mean I'm normally a chocolate girl but this dessert is sooooo yummy! So when I was browsing on Pinterest and saw that someone had pinned a copycat recipe of this dessert I nearly fell off my chair I was so happy! Of course the next day I ran to the store and got the ingredients I didn't have on hand like the white chocolate chips, syrup, and brown sugar. I have to be honest and admit that my first batch of this was a disaster but that was because of a minor error with the butter I melted it to almost liquid form and really it should just be room temp softened.   I didn't give up though and since I had all the ingredients on hand I gave it a second chance and it was a success.  Well I gave my friend Eva the first try from the second batch all done up with vanilla ice cream, maple butter sauce, and walnuts. Her response was "OH MY GOD. You are making this for me for every birthday from now on" It's her favorite and no it's not her birthday and yep it's that good. It tastes just like an Applebee's blondie, and I really think the sauce is what makes it. I had to share this amazing recipe with the world!

Finished result...

*note I omitted the white chocolate chips for the blondie that the original recipe calls for and used them in the sauce instead which I think is really how it should be and I used a different recipe for the sauce that I saw in the comments over at the source.

Copycat Applebee's Maple Butter Blondie Adapted from THIS recipe


1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour (sifted)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or more if desired)
1/3 cup butter (room temp softened NOT melted)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg (beaten)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Maple butter sauce:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 pkg cream cheese
1/4 cup whole milk
3/4 pkg. white chocolate chips
2 heaping tablespoons maple syrup (or pancake syrup with 2% maple syrup)



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Add baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the already sifted flour. Then sift dry ingredients again. Add chopped nuts and mix well. Set aside.

Add brown sugar to melted butter and mix well, use a pastry blender or two forks, it is not necessary to use a mixer for this recipe. Then add the beaten egg and vanilla extract. Mix well with a spatula. Add flour mixture a little at a time, until mixed well.

Spread out dough in a 9-inch pan. Bake for 20 to 35 minutes. ( I know it's a large range but it really depends on what size and kind of pan you use, I used an 8 inch pan and it had to cook for almost 35 minutes). Use a toothpick or fork to test if it is cooked in the center. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, walnuts and the hot maple butter sauce.

Maple Butter Sauce:

In a saucepan add the butter and cream cheese and cook over low to medium heat making sure it's melted and stirring occasionally. Then add the white chocolate chips and milk. Keep stirring (I found that it was easier using a whisk to keep it all incorporated and melted and not at the bottom of the pan. Lastly add the syrup. Keep whisking/stirring until it's all incorporated and melted.  Don't let the mixture sit there cause it can burn.  When it's all hot and bubbly and looks like a buttery sauce do a taste test (don't burn yourself!).

NOTE: this will yield a good amount of sauce and it's great cause this dessert is amazing smothered by the awesomeness that is this maple butter sauce!


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

busy bee I am

Pineapple coconut mini bundt cakes. My mom has a few of these 6 count baking pans and they are really really cute. Been making these everyday since last Friday. No I'm not crazy. I make them so that my mom can make some extra money at her job. She sells them to her co workers and they are a HIT! My mom says they are GONE by the time she starts her shift, gone in 5 minutes! Yes they are that good. Light, buttery, fluffy and yummy!

In other news, the bf and I are going on 1 year :) Had a really nice coffee date to celebrate.

Also I haven't baked some cupcakes in a while so maybe I should get on that!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

an early birthday present to myself

If you craft or sew then you most definitely know about "that pile." You know the one you call your "to do", "to finish", "to start" pile. Whatever it is you call it you most likely have a few if not many (like me) projects that you started but haven't completed. Also if you are like me then you also have the habit of starting many other projects even though when you look at "that pile" you wince because you know you shouldn't start a new project and instead work on an existing one. I'm not sure if this has anything to do with procrastination or just too much inspiration!

Yesterday I woke up from a much needed afternoon nap and decided that I wanted to make myself a new purse. Oh I've made lots and lots of bags but I hardly ever keep one. My birthday is coming up so I thought that it would be nice to make myself a bag with that awesome fabric I've been hoarding for almost a year. So I did and I finished it very very late last night. I have to say that this is my favorite favorite bag I've ever made, and it's all mine!

Now...I really should do something about "that pile."

Monday, August 1, 2011

Pinterest and other addicting things

Pinterest...ok so it's really not what I need but I love it! I can be on there for hours pinning away! Now if you don't know what in the world I'm talking about go HERE.(<----CLICK) It's really not something I can easily explain. I get a lot of inspiration and ideas for many things, I find funny pictures or quotes, craft ideas, food recipes and many other things. BUT it does take a lot of time out of my day I have to limit myself if not I'll be on there foreeevvveeer!

So speaking of other addicting things, who would have ever thought I would one day call a Kitchenaid mixer my best friend?! Or who would have ever thought I would be so anal about my recipe binders, box. More importantly who would have ever thought I'd actually HAVE a recipe binder???? That I would spend hours organizing, spend money on the cutest recipe cards and more hours reading all kinds of food blogs? Not me! Baking and cooking is like therapy for me now, I don't even mind doing the dishes afterwards and BELIEVE me washing dishes was something I would NEVER in a million years would have said I wouldn't mind doing. Now it's like part of the whole cooking and baking thing.

Procrastination is another addicting thing oh wait I think I actually inherited that and have had it with me since I was born. Yep, I'm a HUGE procrastinator. I've been working in our garage the last few days and my plan today was to finish the last part of it and be done with it. Well of course I got on Pinterest, and read my daily foodie blogs and of course I got the itch to cook/bake something. What about the garage you ask? There's always tomorrow! :) Here's what I made today:

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits (aka Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits)
recipe from HERE


2 1/2 cups Bisquick baking mix
3/4 cup cold whole milk
4 tablespoons cold butter (1/2 stick)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 heaping cup grated cheddar cheese

Brush on Top:

2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch salt


1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2. Combine Bisquick with cold butter in a medium bowl using a pastry cutter or a large fork. You don't want to mix too thoroughly. There should be small chunks of butter in there that are about the size of peas. Add cheddar cheese, milk, and 1/4 teaspoon garlic. Mix by hand until combined, but don't over mix.

3. Drop approximately 1/4 cup portions of the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet using an ice cream scoop.

4. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until the tops of the biscuits begin to turn light brown.

5. When you take the biscuits out of the oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small bowl in your microwave. Stir in the garlic powder and the dried parsley flakes. Use a brush to spread this garlic butter over the tops of all the biscuits. Use up all of the butter. Makes one dozen biscuits.

*NOTE: I didn't have garlic powder so I used garlic salt.

Man did these come out tasting like cheddar biscuit heaven! So easy and fast to make, these are easily whipped up because of the cold butter and milk you don't have to wait for the butter to get at room temp and to me that is great! I also added a little more cheese and butter than it stated cause yes you guessed it another addiction CHEESE!

I also made Chocolate Toffee Shortbread bars but they are chilling in the fridge, will cut, photograph and post tomorrow!

Goodnight :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

why did I wait to make this???

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

These are so gooood! I was browsing some food blogs and came upon this recipe and bookmarked it. I had bought all the ingredients but forgot about it until now. I love everything about it. The thick crust, the creamy cheesecake filling, the tartness of the chopped apples, and the sweetness and crunchiness of the topping. I really don't know if there will be any left for the BBQ tomorrow!

Recipe adapted from: The Girl Who Ate Everything Blog (this recipe is so decadent that I wan't surprised it was a Paula Deen recipe!)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

too much inspiration?

Is there such a thing? I really think it has more to do with procrastination. I earn a blue first place ribbon on that on a regular basis! I will usually try to limit my online blog browsing time but with all these really amazing blogs with amazing photos and projects it really is hard to limit myself. I will get so inspired that I start to research something and then that takes me to another place and so on...then I find myself looking outside my window and it's dark outside. The day is over. ARG!

I'm going to start limiting myself to an hour THAT'S IT! I have a few projects I'm working on and many many on my to do list. One of those is a quilt with the new Denyse Schmidt Picnic and Fairgrounds collection, which I was happy to find at my local Joann's. I love this quilt pattern that Little Miss Shabby adapted from this free pattern. I may have to try it and I'm thinking Picnic and Fairgrounds would be the perfect collection to use.

In other news, I finally gave my friend Sara this quilt I made for her little boy to come. Everyone at the baby shower loved it. Which warmed my heart cause I still can't totally get used to the fact that people love what I do. I love giving people handmade gifts I think it has a lot more meaning.

I did worry a little bit about the type of quilting I did on it. It's not a continuous kind of thing. I did each square separately and in the end I actually LOVED the effect once I washed it and dried it. It's lovely. On the back I gave it two small circles to tie in the front with the back.

AND to finish this post I have to say that I made THE best deviled eggs ever. I love the classic flavors. Mayo, dijon mustard, regular yellow mustard, salt and pepper and a little paprika for garnish. Amazing lunch time treat for me today specially with this lovely weather!

Summer I'm ready for you :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


So I have a new obsession and it's none other than quilting. I've only made a few but I'm hooked. I always get that feeling you know when you are reading a really good book and you can't wait to finish it but at the same time you don't want to because then it's over. Well I get that same feeling when I'm almost done with a quilt. Once it's finished I can't wait to start the next one. I love picking out the pattern, the fabrics, calculating the pieces, everything! Here are two I've made recently.

This is the charming stars quilt I made for my bed.

This is the back.

This is a baby quilt for my cousin's baby girl. Loved the light gray with the pinks and greens.

The back.

I'm working on a blue and gray quilt right now for my sister's room, but I want to start another one...told you I was obsessed!

NEXT: will post pictures of the doll I just finished for my niece, she turned out adorable can't wait to post the pictures!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

following a recipe

It's my little sister's birthday today, well she's not so little anymore she's 26 and is already a mommy! One of her favorite desserts is Tiramisu. I decided to see if I could adapt Tiramisu to cupcake form. I did a search online and I decided on a recipe from because it had 41 reviews and 5 stars. I like recipes that have reviews from readers because it lets me know if there are any errors in the recipe or if it's any good. Reading the comments also gives me ideas and tips, and I always print the recipe and make notes on it.

So usually I'm pretty good about following a recipe, but I think I'm at a point in cooking and baking where I feel ok about making my own adaptations and adding, submitting, or changing ingredients and directions. I know what flavors I like, don't like, want to try, and yeah some times it doesn't work out but most of the time I find that I'm usually right on! Which makes me more confident to keep on trying new things and recipes and ingredients.

This is MY adaptation of the recipe posted at I changed some things, kept some the same. I made a few notes that were helpful for me so please read those before you make these believe me it will make it easier for you. I've got to say these are some DELICIOUS cupcakes. Rich, and decadent and if you love Tiramisu you wont be disappointed.

Tiramisu Cupcakes adapted from


1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used 1 1/2 tsp)
4 eggs , room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup whole milk (makes a difference trust me)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
24 FOIL cupcake liners

Liquid Coffee Layer

2/3 cup water, boiling
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee
2 tablespoons Kahlua (or any other coffee flavored liqueur)

Mascarpone Filling

1 cup mascarpone cheese (from tub)
3 tablespoons Kahlua (or coffee extract)
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 ounce) container cool Whip
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


12 ounces or 1-1/2 packages of Philly cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
4 cups sifted powdered sugar (more to reach desired consistency)
1 teaspoon vanilla
21/2 teaspoons Kahlua


chocolate shavings


1. Make mascarpone filling mix first & allow to chill 4-6 hours or overnight.

2. Mascarpone filling: Beat mascarpone, Kahlua and condensed milk until well blended. Fold in cool whip. Chill 4-6 hours.

3. Prepare cupcakes as directed in THIS post. OR you can use any other vanilla cake recipe that's to your liking. Make sure they completely cool.

4. Liquid Coffee: Boil 2/3 cup water in microwave (or boil on stove) and stir in instant coffee then powdered sugar & allow to cool to tepid (or pour in a bowl and put in freezer for a few minutes) then stir in the Kahlua. Once cooled, use a fork to poke holes into cupcakes so that they will absorb the liquid coffee & then brush liquid coffee onto each cupcake using silicone baking brush. I made all kinds of holes! I wanted the cake to absorb as much of the coffee mixture as possible. I brushed the cupcakes about 3 times.

5. Fill pastry/icing bag with mascarpone filling & inject about 1 spoonful via bag directly into top-center of each cupcake. Also frost each cupcake with a layer of the filling. (you will have enough left over to do this)

6. Prepare Cream Cheese Frosting:Bring cheese and butter to room temperature by letting it sit out for 1 or 2 hours,Sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto parchment. Beat butter and cheese at medium speed until creamy. Add half of the sugar, then the vanilla and Kahlua. Beat until combined. Gradually add remaining sugar (more if you have to) until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like.

7. Frost each cupcake with frosting (This will be a little messy and you will have to mix it in with the filling layer you put on the cupcakes already but believe me it's worth it. Finally garnish with chocolate shavings and a dusting of cocoa.

-these cupcakes ARE time consuming but are well worth the effort and time, so make sure you have the time.
-Use REAL mascarpone cheese, it's a bit expensive but I've found that the taste and texture is heavenly with the real thing.
-I used a lot of Kahlua in this, but you can always adapt the amount to your liking and what you are comfortable with. One tip I saw in the comments for the original recipe was if you don't want to shell out the money for Kahlua try Kimora as a substitute.
-YOU WILL have A LOT of frosting and filling left depending on how much you frost, just put the leftovers in plastic containers and freeze for next time, or some other cupcakes.
-you will notice I state to use foil liners, this is because of the soaking you have to do with the liquid coffee mixture. They are really inexpensive and you can get them at practically any grocery store.

ENJOY! I am seriously hoarding the leftovers they are so yummy!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Good Foundation

I gotta say today was not my day for good looking cupcakes. The humidity and temperature of the house made it impossible to get a good consistency on the frosting. The taste however was awesome! I've been looking for a good vanilla cake recipe that I can adapt for cupcakes. I've tried quite a few already and haven't been really happy with any of them. They are either too dry, taste is not to my liking, or too dense. Today I think I found the BEST vanilla cupcake recipe. OK so when I say the best I mean the best to MY liking. I know everyone has different ideas of what the best is but believe me I had 5 very happy people taste test this recipe today and they all loved it. Oh wait make that 7 including my parents. My dad is super picky and he even said it was tasty :)

I decided to do a vanilla/yellow cake with strawberry jam filling and cream cheese frosting today for my coffee date with the girls. I loved it. They loved it. Although the frosting wasn't as firm as I like it, it still was very yummy with the whole cupcake. The cake was soft, and moist and a pretty light buttery color. Paired with the strawberry jam it was delicious. I know I will be definitely be keeping this recipe as one of my favorites.

(UGH! Pardon the horrible picture but I was in a hurry and today was a yucky day, no sunlight!)

The original recipe is actually called Triple Citrus Cupcakes, and although that sounds great I was on the hunt for a simple vanilla cake recipe. I decided to use this but take out all the citrus from it and add more vanilla flavor.

Vanilla/Yellow Cupcakes adapted from Read.Cook.Digest.


1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used 1 1/2 tsp)
4 eggs , room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup whole milk (makes a difference trust me)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 325˚F. Prepare cupcake pan with liners.

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside. In a stand mixer, fitted with a flat beater, combine cream cheese, butter, and beat until light and fluffy, add vanilla beat about 30 seconds more.

Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Then beat in oil. Gradually add flour mixture and milk in 3 additions, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Try not to over mix.

Fill cupcake liners about 1/2-2/3 full, I use an ice cream scoop. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. I checked the cupcakes at 25 minutes with a toothpick and they were done I took them out and they were perfect. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting.

*Frost cupcakes with your favorite frosting or eat them without, either way they will be good! I cored the cupcakes put some strawberry jam in the middle replaced the cored pieces and frosted them with The BEST cream cheese frosting (at least to me :))

NOTES: I have to say that following the recipe exactly is highly recommended. I didn't use to think temperature of the ingredients mattered but it really does make a difference. This goes for the milk, eggs, butter and in this case the cream cheese. Room temperature is always the best.

Not a good day for a pretty cupcake but a great day for a delicious one :)

Monday, February 28, 2011

I'm ready for spring!

I'm ready for some less chilly weather, the last few days have been really nice, sunny with the most beautiful blue sky. It's still a bit cold but it gives me a glimpse of spring.

SO...I wanted to make a spring cupcake. I've made chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry cupcakes. I wanted to do something fruity, fresh and of course yummy! I decided to make some orange cupcakes since I found some pure orange extract in the pantry and I had just bought some nice oranges. I also wanted to try a new recipe for cream cheese frosting. I have to say that I think I found THE BEST recipe for it. I've made it a few times before but even though it came out ok I wasn't convinced, but this time I really found (to me at least) the best one.

Orange Cupcakes via My Baking Addiction

1/2 cup unsalted butter, (room temperature)
2/3 cup granulated white sugar or Baker's Sugar
3 large eggs (room temperature)
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of pure orange extract
Zest of 1 orange
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly butter or line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

2. Place the sugar and orange zest into the bowl of your mixer and blend until moist and fragrant. Add in butter and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and orange extracts.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

3. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

4. Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing.

*Makes 12 cupcakes

-I think this recipe could easily be adapted for other citrus fruits, grapefruit, lime, lemon...I think I'm going to try a lemon lime one with lemon buttercream...yummy!
-I used Baker's sugar which is also called castor sugar, it's finer than granulated sugar but not as fine as powdered. It really is a great sugar to work with if you are going to cream your butter and sugar for any cake batter. I've noticed the difference.

THE BEST Cream Cheese Frosting via Cupcake Bakeshop

12 ounces or 1-1/2 packages of Philly cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
4 cups sifted powdered sugar (more to reach desired consistency)
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Bring cheese and butter to room temperature by letting it sit out for 1 or 2 hours
2. Sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto parchment
3. Beat butter and cheese at medium speed until creamy
4. Add half of the sugar and the vanilla. Beat until combined
5. Gradually add remaining sugar (more if you have to) until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like

NOTE: I put more sugar than what the recipe says, I like my frosting a little more sweet and the consistency a little more firm. I didn't really measure but it was more than 4 cups for sure, I just kept putting half cups in until it reached the right consistency for me.

I'm really enjoying all this baking I've been doing lately, Have gotten requests to do a few parties...Not sure where this will lead me but I'm really enjoying all of it :) I haven't forgotten about my sewing, right now I've been working on a quilt for my bed. I hardly make projects and keep them so I'm excited to be working on something for myself!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day and Frosting.

Happy Valentine's Day!

It's a perfect day to make cupcakes. This weekend I decided to try a cream cheese frosting recipe. I ended up having mixed feelings about the way it came out. Flavor wise it was really yummy, but the consistency wasn't to my liking. I know that generally that kind of frosting is going to end up a little softer than I like. One solution would have been to add more powdered sugar but then it would be too sweet. It piped ok, but I still like my buttercream frosting the best. I think the cream cheese frosting would be better as a filling than a frosting to be honest. My mom's friends were the taste testers this time and they did all loved the cupcakes. As for the cake, I went back to the Hershey's chocolate cake recipe this time because I know that my boyfriend loved it, and that's who these cupcakes were really for anyway.

I ended up making a buttercream for my boyfriend's batch and really liked how it came out this time. It was less yellow and more creamy white since I used the clear vanilla instead of the regular extract. It also pipes amazing!

I had fun with the simple decorations for these cupcakes. I still have to practice styling the cupcakes but I think I'm getting a bit better with the pictures.

Hoping my boyfriend likes them, dinner date tonight for Valentine's day :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Who doesn't love strawberries?!

I decided to try another "from scratch" cupcake recipe. I mean seriously I'm on my way to becoming a pro! Ok not yet but hey I'm on my way! Last time I made the frosting with a hand electric mixer and although it turned out great, my hand was a little tired and cramped from all the mixing. I remembered that my parents have KitchenAid stand mixer that they haven't even used yet, so I thought hey! I'll break it in for them! I have to say it was so much more convenient and fun.

So niiiiiice! Ok so back to the cupcakes. Browsing the different dessert and food blogs I read daily, I came upon a recipe for Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream. I mean really! Of course I immediately put it on my list to try next. I love strawberries no really I LOVE them. Ok so this isn't really a totally "from scratch" recipe but it's semi-from scratch. It uses a box strawberry mix but then it adds some other ingredients that make it so fluffy and light and yummy. It definitely does NOT taste like cake from a box. I mean I'm not gonna say that I will never use a mix ever again but I'm going to try to do my baking from scratch. It gives me more satisfaction when people try it and they love it and I can say to myself that yes I CAN bake and people LIKE it!

Do you see a pattern? Pink has been my color lately. I think because I love pink and it's Valentine's day coming up so I went with more pink on pink. Yes a little obnoxious but cute :) I also wanted to try out my new little cake/dessert stand that I got at the antique shop. So pretty and delicate.

Recipe from Gimme Some Oven...Visit her blog she has amazing recipes and an extensive index to choose from.

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes


Cupcake Ingredients:

1 (18.25 oz.) strawberry cake mix
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/4 cup (4 Tbsp.) lemon juice
4 eggs

Frosting Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup pureed strawberries (made from fresh or frozen strawberries)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
3 – 4 cups powdered sugar (adjust to achieve desired consistency)


To Make Cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

Add the cake mix, buttermilk, oil and lemon juice to a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed until moistened, about 30 seconds. Add eggs one at a time, until the batter is well-mixed. Increase speed to high and beat until thick and fluffy, 2 minutes longer.

Pour or scoop the batter into the paper liners until they are 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cupcakes cool on a wire rack.


Cream butter in an electric mixer on medium-speed until smooth and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Then add in the strawberries, vanilla and lemon juice, and mix on low-speed until combined. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and mix until combined. Then beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, another 3-5 minutes. (Add in more powdered sugar if consistency is too thin.)

*I doubled the recipe for the frosting as Ali (Gimme Some Oven) recommends since I wanted to have a generous amount to frost 24 cupcakes.

Next up: Either some Mocha Cupcakes or Champagne cupcakes. Oh and a simple tutorial on how to make your own cake stands using plates and candle holders you have around the house or from thrift stores.

Monday, January 31, 2011

from scratch

Hershey's "perfectly chocolate" chocolate cake cupcakes, with homemade buttercream

This is my first cupcake that has been baked from scratch, cake and frosting! I even colored the little pearls with silver dusting powder. I did a lot of research and read a lot of chocolate cake recipes but this Hershey's one was the one that had the best reviews. I have to say that I was a little worried because the batter turned out really runny and thin, but on the recipe it does state that it will turn out that way so I went ahead. I was also a little apprehensive on making my own buttercream, I really thought I was going to fail big time, but I didn't! I'm glad I did it cause they turned out sooooo good! I had friends and the boyfriend taste test it, friends loved it! The boyfriend proposed...ok so he was just kidding but really he loved them :)

My dad asked me the other day what all the baking and cooking is about and I said I HAVE NO IDEA! I've gotten the domestic bug or something, but it's so fun and really makes the day go by faster.

Here are the recipes:

Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" chocolate cake
recipe from Hershey's


2 cups sugar
3/4 cup Hershey's Cocoa (unsweetened)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. 10 to 12 servings.


CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.

Buttercream Frosting
Recipe from My Baking Addiction blog


3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
pinch of fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
2 pounds confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar), sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream or milk


1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter until fluffy. Slowly add in confectioner’s sugar, and continue creaming until well blended.

2. Add salt, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk. Blend on low speed until moistened. Add an additional 1 to 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy. Makes enough to frost about 24 to 30 cupcakes depending on how generous you are with the frosting, OR one 9 inch layer cake.

Notes: this was the easiest recipe ever!
I used gel dyes specifically to color frosting. I wanted it to turn out more pink than that so next time I will get a brighter pink.

On a crafty/sewing note...I have been taking a small break from from sewing machine. It's not that I'm mad at it or anything and I'm sure it misses me but I've been busy job hunting, and cooking, and baking and playing with my adorable niece Emma. I did however a couple of weeks ago, made a small visit and made my mom an awesome table runner. It was inspired by the tutorial over at The Purl Bee they have this Thanksgiving Appliqued and Quilted Table Runner. My mom used to have this cream really formal and not cute runner so I decided to make her one, I used linen and cotton. I put a little padding so that it can double as a hot pad for hot plates and cups. I gotta say my skills at using bias tape to bind are getting better. I blind stitched it all the way around and I think I did a pretty good job!

I think my friends and boyfriend pretty much love me right now, I end up giving all my cupcakes away for taste testing purposes, oh and so that I don't end up eating them all!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

simple solution

Since my sewing/craft area is located in my bedroom, I don't have much room for a full size ironing board or cutting table. I usually use one of those small tables/tv trays, I put a towel and then my cutting mat on top worked out for me. I can iron when I want and cut when I want. The only problem is the towel ALWAYS shifts and slides off and it's a little annoying to be honest. So I came up with an idea to make some sort of padded cover for the table. I measured the table, left enough for a casing for the elastic and sewed the padding. The result was perfect!

I used warm and natural batting. Four layers of it to give it good padding.

It's working out great I don't have to worry about it sliding off taking all my work with it! Great for when you have to use everything in your room/area for more than one purpose :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

cupcake stuff

I think I'm going a little crazy on the cupcakes! Oh man, but it's so fun. I wanted a reason to use my 1M tip to swirl on the frosting. I still need more practice but I think I did ok on my first time. I was reading this new blog I came across called CakeJournal and I loved one of her tips for making your own color sprinkles using any type of white sprinkle. I followed her directions HERE and made my own. I love this idea because you can make as little or as much as you want.

I was at the cake supply store and bought some packaging for the cupcakes and found the best containers! They were pretty cheap too. Not sold on the white box it looks cute but I think they would move around and mess up the frosting in travel but the clear plastic ones are awesome!

Next up I'm going to try making the cake mix from scratch using some great recipes, like Martha Stewart's tiramisu cupcake recipe wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

using my recipe box

So I don't really make a list of resolutions, but I do think of things I would like to do more. One of those things was to use my recipe box more. I copy down recipes but I never really end up using them. So I want to start. This morning I decided to make breakfast for me and my mom. I looked in the breakfast section of the box and found this Speedy Egg, and Cheese Stack. I really don't remember where I got the recipe from but I wanted to try it.

scrambled eggs, tomatoes, cheese, corn tortillas (you can use flour too)
all ingredients layered twice, baked at 375 for 10 to 12 minutes
I served it with cilantro and salsa

It was fast, easy, and very yummy!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

I love cupcakes!

Happy New Year!

One of my resolutions is to blog more, try new projects, and bake more! Soooo all day yesterday I baked mini cupcakes, regular cupcakes and made that lovely cupcake stand. I made milk chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting yum! I think my favorite part of making cupcakes is decorating. I didn't just want to use just one type of sprinkle I used a few different kinds. I thought I would have a little photo shoot just for fun :) I collected some of my favorite teacups and my teapot and used them as props.

The other day I went to the cake and candy supply shop (which I love btw) and saw this plain white cardboard Wilton cupcake stand. I already own a metal one and and a plastic one but wanted to make my own and got inspired by one I saw online in a blog. I can't really remember where I saw it but it made in impression on me. I used some pretty scrapbooking paper, double sided tape or tags, and the plain cupcake stand. I just traced the parts and taped them and assembled the stand. I added some words to give it more whimsy. It was actually fun and easy.

Then I saw THIS tutorial over at Birds Party Blog and knew I had to make my own. I bought some heavy card stock in some pretty prints, downloaded the template, traced on the card stock, cut, glued (I used my handy glue gun for faster drying purposes) and I came up with these:

I also got the little strawberry cake topper from Paperglitter. If you go to her blog there's a place for FREE PRINTABLES, you can choose from a variety of cute cupcake toppers. I chose the strawberry, perfect for my set up.

Loved setting up my little cupcake shoot! It was something I've wanted to do for a while. Now off to eat some of those yummy cupcakes :)