Friday, December 16, 2011

Thanksgiving Treats

We hosted turkey day this year. I wanted to make all mini desserts every year there are so many leftovers and its difficult to split up a whole pie. I settled on mini pumpkin pies, mini apple pies and cinnamon bun turkey cupcakes.

Mini Pumpkin Pies: I followed the recipe from make and takes
This recipe worked out perfect! My only comment would be that I had a lot of extra pumpkin filling.

Mini Apple Pies: I followed the recipe from baking bites
My comment here would be that I WAY over filled the muffin tins (not even using as much as was suggested) and they kind of exploded everywhere and were really hard to get out of the tins. In the future I'd add less apples and seal the tops on better somehow. They were a huge hit though and tasted fantastic!

Cinnamon Bun Turkey Cupcakes:
I'll admit, these are box cinnamon cupcakes with my homemade cream cheese icing. The turkey decoration on top I took from the brown eyed baker

Friday, November 4, 2011

My First Sanctioned Cake

It was quite the hectic night, but I think the cake came out well. I had a riding lesson and got home around 9pm and started baking. My coworker wanted a red velvet cake that was decorated for a princess with blue icing and a tiara.

I started out with red velvet cakes in the oven and left them to cool while I made dinner and got my life in order for the next day. Then I made the cream cheese icing and applied the crumb coat. I set the alarm for early the next day to throw on the final coat and decorations.

I used big scallops of icing on the rims and petite white sugar flowers as accents with white sugar crystals.

On top I put pretty pink mums (real of course - how much time do you think I have?) and the tiara.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kahlua Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

These cupcakes were a tasty experiment. My coworker loves chocolate so I wanted to make something extra chocolate-y. This cupcake is a chocolate cake box mix except I substituted 1/2 cup of water for Kahlua. It makes the batter runny and the cupcakes extra fluffy. Keep an eye on these babies in the oven as they cooked about 4-5 minutes quicker than suggested on the box. The icing is my favorite standard Martha Stewart's Chocolate Ganache Icing. Ping me if you want the recipe. I've never gotten more compliments than when I use this icing! Lastly they are topped with mini chocolate chips!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Save the Boobs

We had a breast cancer awareness bake sale to benefit Susan G Komen today. We also got to wear jeans with a $5 donation. Woo Hoo. I made pink lemonade cupcakes, adapted from the blog JustJENN. They were a huge hit and gone before the lunch rush! Of course I wouldn't have priced them at $0.50 either, they are easily worth $2, but thats just me griping.

Why won't blogger let me turn this photo? So frustrating, but either way their cute.

I used Jenn's icing recipe which was super easy and absolutely delicious. Instead of making the cupcakes from scratch, I used a yellow cake mix and added 2 tbsp lemon juice and a tbsp of lemon zest. Again, super easy.

In order to cut out the breast cancer ribbons I printed out an image online and made a stencil, which I secured on the cupcake with tooth picks and then cut out with a knife. Presto Change-O.

Thanks Jenn for the inspiration!

Karma's a Sweet Lady sometimes

I know we always say that Karma's a bitch, but someone saw my cupcakes at our company bake sale and they want ME, yes ME to bake their sister's birthday cake....and they're going to pay me.

The cake is royal wedding themed so it will be red velvet with blue icing and a tiara on top. I'm not sure how that color combo is going to come out, but it thats what you want, thats what you get!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Simple and Sweet

I'm obsessed with this cake photo I saw. I really want to make this cake.......

I will find a reason to make this cake......

A very special birthday

My Mom turned 60 this year. Now who really enjoys turning 60 and having everyone make fun of your age? Therefore I decided to throw my Mom a 6 year old's birthday party at our local bowling alley. Everything turned out great and everyone had a good time bowling and celebrating instead of standing around black balloons screaming 'over the hill'.

I also wanted to make my mom a special birthday cake. This two layer cake is chocolate with kahlua painted on after baking with my go to chocolate ganache-ish frosting.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Over the Top Luau

As usual, my sister in law threw an over the top fun party on Saturday. Her youngest son turned 1 and lots of food, games and fun were had by all.

Her friend Kristin made this beautiful cake an cupcakes. Her designs can be found at Sweet Cake Designs.

Best of luck to Kristin and her business!

I'm a winner!

Yay! Yipee! I got an email this morning that I will be receiving a back to the Roots grow-at-home mushroom kit!

I know this isn't the theme of my blog, but i've made a savory post or two before and pup's name is Portobello. Hubby LOVES mushrooms and is a terrific chef. Check back here to see progress on our mushrooms and the fun things we do with them.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Hubby

Its been a while since I've made a cake instead of cupcakes. It was my husband's 32nd birthday and he's a huge golf fan. I arranged for a few friends to surprise him at the course and a nice dinner after.

Meanwhile, I got to work on this cake. The actual cake itself was yellow, with chocolate and peanut butter chips in the batter. Unfortunately they sunk to the bottom, gotta figure out how to prevent that! The filling in between the two layers was a combo of peanut butter and fluff, mixed well with a little bit of skim milk to make it spreadable.

I used Martha's 7 minute frosting for the top and sides and also installed a graham cracker sand trap and corresponding icing'd bunker. The golf fairway was sprinkled with green sugar. I didn't have the grass making tip, but the star seemed to work just fine.

Hubby loved the cake, although I think yours truly ate a good majority of it. Yum!

More info to follow...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Smores Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes for a co-worker's birthday. They were pretty darn easy and show stoppers! Tons of people kept coming up asking how to make these. Well, if your wondering - here's how:

Makes 24 cupcakes:
1 large package of mini marshmallows
1.5 c Graham Crackers
5 tbsp Butter (melted)
.25 c Granulated Sugar
Box Chocolate Cake Mix - plus req ingredients (oil, water, eggs)
Optional topping of Hershey bar pieces or additional graham crackers

First - preheat oven according to box mix. Prepare 1 package of about 10 crackers (my box came in 3 packages to a box) - crush them in a food mixer until crumbs, add 5 tbsp of melted butter and 1/4 cup of sugar. Place a heaping spoonful of mixture in each of the cupcake liners. Next take a small cup and squish the graham cracker mixture into a nice crust on the bottom of each liner (think making a cheesecake). Place in the oven and bake for 5 min.

Meanwhile, prepare the chocolate cake mix as directed on the box. Spoon the mixture into the liners to fill 3/4 full. Bake as directed on the box.

For the marshmallow topping, you need patience. Get everything out and ready to go before starting. A small sauce pan. A small bowl filled with mini marshmallows and your *cooled* cupcakes. Warning - only do small batches at a time. You want to use about 1/4-1/2 of the bag of marshmallows for melting and the others for sticking on top. Take a handful of marshmallows and put them in the sauce pan over medium heat and stir until melted. Next, icing a cupcake with melted marshmallow and then stick directly down into the bowl of marshmallows. The mini marshmallows will only stick when the melted marshmallow is really melted, gooey and hot. You can only do one at a time and about 4-5 before I recommend melting another handful. I reiterate -small batches are key. Once all cupcakes have been "topped", you can melt with a blow torch or the broiler. When using the broiler, watch your cupcakes like a hawk. They will only need 30 seconds to a minute!

I topped them with pieces of a Hershey bar or graham cracker. Optional. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

About two weeks before Memorial Day, I got a craving for pineapple upside down cake. I knew I was having a holiday BBQ, but cakes really aren’t ideal for grab and go. I decided to transform this into a cupcake. They went over really well, and are a relatively easy way to get fancy with your cupcakes.

I used Betty Crocker’s standard recipe, with a few modifications.

Gooey Yummy Topping (Tripled Betty Crocker Recipe)

1 cup butter or margarine (melted)
2 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
24 slices pineapple in juice (from 14-oz can), drained
12 maraschino cherries without stems, if desired

Batter: (doubled from Betty Crocker recipe to make 24 cupcakes)

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup shortening
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup milk
2 eggs

1. Heat Oven to 350.

2. Prep your pineapples slices. I used standard canned pineapple slices in pineapple juice. The ring is too big for a standard cupcake pan, so I used a cookie cutter to reduce the circle to fit. This is ubber messy, but for the overall look – worth it. I got frustrated for a little while and just cut up some of the slices and sprinkled around the cherry which also works and you can probably use 1/3 to ½ less pineapple slices (since there is no waste).

3. Prepare the melted butter, add brown sugar and stir until mixed. Do not use cupcake liners. Add a large spoonful to each cupcake mold (enough to cover the bottom generously). Next, add the pineapple and ½ cherry to each mold.

4. In medium bowl, beat remaining ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour batter over pineapple and cherries. I filled the molds mostly to the top since this isn’t an incredible rising cake. You’ll notice the batter is almost a bit dense.

5. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately place heatproof serving plate upside down over pan; turn plate and pan over. Leave pan over cake a few minutes so brown sugar mixture can drizzle over cake; remove pan. I used baking sheets to do this and it worked pretty well. In a few cases, the pineapples stuck and I had to loosen and re-attach to the cupcake, but it all worked out. Turn each cupcake over so the pineapple is on top and place in a liner. Served best warm. Tip - Throw in the micro for 15 seconds each if prepped ahead of time.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Melissa's Evil Minis

A coworker told me about a new cupcake place that opened a couple of blocks from the office. I wish I was never told. Baked by Melissa is a new - soon to be chain - popping up around Manhattan. They only sell mini's and they're about two dainty bites worth of cupcake. They come in crazy fun flavors and are very moist and delish.

Unfortunately they are in between my office and Penn Station. Now I can't make the walk without picking up 3 for $3 of this stinkin evil minis.

See below for a picture of today's indulgence. Smores ~ Red Velvet ~ PB&J

Curse you Melissa. Curse you.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Chillin with Cake Boss

My firm held an event and Cake Boss came to visit! He made a massive EY themed cake and gave out autographed copies of his new book.
The cake was chocolate with chocolate and vanilla frosting. The cake was good, but not mind blowing - I'd pay a bazillion dollars for more of this cake. I certainly wouldn't wait in line for hours in front of his hoboken shop for this cake. However, i'd gladly accept another piece!

Buddy himself was super sweet. He gave a very nice speech and put up with all of the requests for photos and autographs with a smile. Its nice to meet someone where stardom hasn't ruined their personality. Go Buddy!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Revew: Cupcakes & More - Detroit, MI

Imagine my excitement as I walk through the Detroit Ren Cen is a new cupcake bakery opening only a short elevator ride away from my desk at my client. Sa-weet!

Walking up there are a ton of flavors and these could be some of the biggest cupcakes I've ever seen. They look like giant muffins. They also have what they call mini-cupcakes which are regular sized cupcakes.

They are also very reasonably priced with the giant cupcakes at 4 for $8. Being from NY/NJ - this is a steal. Most cupcakeries charge $2.50-$4.00 for a single small cupcake.

We purchased four of their mega sized cupcakes: Cherry Cheesecake, Red Velvet, Peanut Butter Cup and Chocolate Bomb. All four cupcakes had a nice moist cake.

Cherry Cheesecake was my clear favorite. The cake had good flavor and the cream cheese icing was very smooth, similar to a cheesecake. The cherry preserves on top were a nice touch.

The Red Velvet was so-so. The cheesecakey cream cheese icing needed some tweaks instead of using the same for the red velvet. Also, I think this was just vanilla cake with red food coloring and not a legit red velvet.

Peanut Butter Cup- You forgot the peanut butter, I'm so confused. This was a chocolate cupcake with vanilla icing and a peanut butter cup crushed on top. There was no peanut butter filling, no peanut butter in the icing. I'd say this one was a flop.

Chocolate Bomb - Ganache is a beautiful thing. Don't tell me your topping is ganache if its just watery chocolate icing. Ganache is like a smooth dark chocolate bar. This was not. Flop numero dos.

My advice would be quality over quantity. Go back to the kitchen, really question some of your recipes and then come back out. You'll have better long term business. But thats just my two cents.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bake Sale Cupcakes - Part 2

On March 20th we held our 2nd IHSA horse show of the season and therefore our 2nd Alumni bake sale. This bake sale raked in $80! We had brownies, cookies, cupcakes and set up in the perfect spot right outside the ring. I’d be craving to make Rocky Road and Thin Mint cupcakes for a while, and this was the perfect occasion to test my recipes. As with everything, they’re pretty easy because of my short cuts. Both started with a base of chocolate box cake.

Rocky Road Bake Chocolate Box cake as directed. Once cool, fill a piping bag with marshmallow fluff. Push icing tip into the center of cupcakes and fill with fluff. Next top with Dark Chocolate Icing (recipe below – mind blowingly amazing). Then garnish with mini marshmallows and crushed peanuts. These sold out so quick, I didn’t even have a leftover to buy to bring home to my husband.

Thin Mint Prepare chocolate box cake mix as directed. Fill each cupcake ¼ way, place an Andes mint in each cup and then top with more cake batter. Bake as directed. Once cooled, prepare Mint Buttercream – recipe from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures . I modified a bit because I thought it was too minty for my taste and it turned out terrific. Lastly, I topped the cupcake with a thin mint cookie.

Mint Buttercream

2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted - I doubled this to 4 cups 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature - I doubled this to a full stick 3 tablespoons heavy cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon mint extract 1/2 teaspoon saltgreen gel food coloring (optional)

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the confectioners' sugar and butter (first on low and then increasing the speed to medium) until evenly distributed and crumbly, about 1-2 minutes. Add the cream, extracts, and salt and beat on high speed until light, fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. If you want green buttercream, beat in a little bit of food coloring at a time until you achieve your desired color.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Happy 40th Starbucks

Anyone who knows me, knows I am a sucker for free stuff. Starbucks is celebrating its 40 years in business and I'm helping them celebrate too! With any drink purchase between 2-5pm you get a free petite - they're new bakery items under 200 calories.

The promotion is March 10, 11, and 12th. On the 10th, I tried the red velvet whoopie pies. Eh, a bit dry and not enough cream cheesy taste. Today I tried the rocky road cupcake pop. It was a perfect three small bites of moist cupcake covered in chocolate with marshmallows. There is still one more day to celebrate!!!! Enjoy!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Bake Sale Cupcakes

At our IHSA horse show this past weekend, we had a bake sale to try and recoup some of the losses we were going to incur putting on the show. A ton of girls chipped in and we made around $60.

I personally made red velvet and carrot cake cupcakes. Since it was also my birthday, I took some short cuts since I had a bazillion things going on - riding 3 horses, getting into the city for dinner with the girls, etc.

Red Velvet - I used a yellow box cake and added a teaspoon of cocoa and red food coloring.

Carrot Cake - I used a box spice cake and added 3/4 cup of shaved carrot.


I have the hardest time finding good cream cheese icing recipies that aren't either too buttery or too runny. This one was pretty good.

1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

I decorated the red velvet with a little red sugar and made little carrots on the others.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

NYC Cupcake Review - Cupcake Crew

Cupcake Crew is a cupcake truck that sometimes parks outside my current client's office. This is not good for my thighs as I can't really resist cupcakes. Right around Christmas I gave in and bought a red velvet cupcake. It came with a cute (however plastic) holly on top. I thought the decoration was nice, and the cupcake had a perfect amount of icing. I thought the icing had a nice balance of cream cheese and sweet and the cake was cooked nicely as well. Also the cupcake came in this cute single cupcake carrier so it wouldn't get smooshed on the way back to my desk. To top it all off, they gave me a card for a free mini cupcake if I return...score! (um not for the thighs though).

If you ever see this black and pink truck around, don't hesistate to stop!

Formal Christmas Strawberries

I'm baaaaack. I took some time off baking and blogging while I explored Chile, Peru and Brazil during Oct & Nov. Arriving back December 2nd and not having completed any Christmas shopping was quite fun.

My niece is obsessed with strawberries. In a perfect world, she'd skip dinner and go straight to the strawberries, chocolate covered or not! Just for her, I made these cute tuxedo'd strawberries to brighten Christmas morning.

I washed strawberries and dipped them completely in white chocolate. After about an hour or two in the fridge, I dipped the sides in dark chocolate. Another hour or two in the fridge and I piped on the buttons and bow ties. These were surprisingly easy.

I also made chocolate covered pineapple. This was more difficult since pineapple is so wet. I toweled dried and then dipped in dark chocolate. They came out ugly but were a clear crowd favorite. Then again, anything submersed in chocolate generally tastes amazing.
Related Posts with Thumbnails