Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Cupcake Frenzy

before twenty. twelve. comes to a close, i wanted to pull together a collection of the most recent stuff i've been doing. i'm sorry to say my posts have fallen to the wayside at times. i started this blog over a year ago as a place to journal all of my baking adventures. in the course of that year i have not only found a sincere passion for baking, but an overwhelming amount of support that has motivated me beyond belief.

the last few months have been busy baking for bridal & baby showers, birthday parties and weddings. the people who have allowed me to be a part of these special moments, even in a small way has made this that much more worthwhile. i bake to make people happy. and in the end, i have found happiness myself.

thank you all for the continued support you have given me to fulfill my dreams. it means more than you know.

a thomas the train themed birthday party!

a tiffany blue bridal shower!
pittsburgh sports team groom's cakes!
a halloween themed birthday party!
a halloween work party treat!
a "team safari" baby shower!
a sunflower country wedding theme!
festive christmas cookie cups!
i truly cannot wait to see what 2013 brings.
love.love.love &  happy baking!

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Forget Me Not Cupcakes

Alpha Phi Fraternity celebrated 140 years of sisterhood last week. That's a pretty awesome thing. My college experience wouldn't have been the same without the women in my chapter.

I am sure you can identify with the close relationships you form within your college years even if you aren't greek. Some of the best women I know joined Alpha Phi. They were present at my wedding, congratulating me when I purchased my first home, and supporting me in all my baking aspirations.

Without becoming too much of a sap, I wanted to thank the organization that has given so much to me. In honor of 140 years of awesomeness, I made these Forget Me Not cupcakes. These flowers are one of the symbols of my fraternity and have such a special meaning behind them. We won't ever forget our sisters, near or far.

Happy Founder's Day Alpha Phi. Here's to 140 more years!
love.love.love & happy baking!
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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies

holy blog post batman. i've done it again. neglected to post in a timely fashion. i promise one day i will get the hang of juggling everything on my to do list.

please accept these red velvet white chocolate chip cookies as my apology.

i made these a few months back for a lovely young lady named kelli. she, like my mother, loves some red velvet. and i have to say, i'm pretty obsessed with this cookie now too. they're super easy, super chewy and will be super gone in 15 minutes. i have proven this theory already.

Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon red food coloring
1/2 cup white chocolate chips (i may or may not have added more than this. meaning, i did!)

The How To:

Preheat oven to 375.

Cream butter and sugars together until fluffy in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add egg and vanilla and combine until smooth.
Beat in red food coloring.
Stir in cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt until just combined, scraping down the sides when needed. Fold in chocolate chips.
Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out 1-2 tablespoons of dough and set on baking sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.

These would probably be good as cookie sandwiches. Slap something icing between them? The wheels are turning....

love.love.love & happy baking!
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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pupcakes! A Cupcake for Your Canine.

hugo had a birthday.


and dogs need cupcakes too.

i can't tell you how many times i have wanted to make a pupcake, something delicious and safe for a canine to enjoy.
but it's not always an easy task. you really have to be mindful of what you're putting in the batter. get rid of that all-purpose flour, throw chocolate out the door, and start thinking organic and healthy.
should i be embarrassed that i tried these forgetting they might not taste so good to me?
they weren't so bad, but one bite was enough. i will leave these to the pups.
the cake was made with some whole wheat flour, peanut butter, shredded carrots and honey. I topped with a whole wheat cream cheese frosting and an adorable little milkbone treat.
no worries, i didn't leave the humans out! i made some delicious chocolate/vanilla cupcakes similar to the dog bone cupcakes i did a few weeks back.
and then some lovely red velvet cupcakes too. these were just too pretty to me!
i hope they made hugo and the humans happy!
have any awesome puppy baked goods you've made lately? i'd love to hear about them.
love.love.love & happy baking!
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cake Batter Blondies

how is summer already over?! i am completely disappointed in the amount of times i made it to the beach considering i live 10 blocks from it.

wait a minutteee, i take that back! i don't live 10 blocks from it any longer, because we bought a HOUSE! yes, my hubs and I took the plunge and signed on the dotted line about 3 weeks ago. it's been amazing! what hasn't been amazing is my lack of blogging. but i have an excuse right?

had a few people asking about this recipe for awhile, so i'm hitting you all with it now. i am obsessed with cake batter anything. heck, i will even risk the raw egg to stick my finger in a bowl for that sweet goodness. if you make these, you will probably make them again two nights later.  i seriously could not stop eating these suckers. i wish you the best, i can't control what happens to your waistline.

Cake Batter Blondies
1 box yellow cake mix
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup sprinkles (i used rainbow! weeeee!)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

The How To:

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Spray 11×7 baking pan with nonstick spray.
Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl.
Add the milk slowly. You want to cake batter to be as dense & thick as possible.
Mix in the sprinkles and white chocolate chips.
Pour into prepared baking pan, sprinkle a few more sprinkles on top, and bake for 25-30 minutes until edges are just turning brown.
Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes so the center sets, before cutting into squares.

The blondies will look they aren't totally done. Kind of gooey in the center, you want them this way! Bring on the ooey gooeyness! :)

Who else likes cake batter as much as I do? Speak to me people. I'm awful lonely.

love.love.love & happy baking!
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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Dog Bone Cupcakes

Everyone knows the saying, "dogs are people too". And it's true. They become a full fledged member of your family the day they pee on your carpet. So I didn't find it odd in the least when one of my girlfriends asked me to make some cupcakes for her pup's 7th birthday. (hey! he's 21 in dog years!)

Mind you, these cupcakes were for the humans, not the dog, but the idea of throwing a birthday party to celebrate your dog's life is a pretty amazing concept to me. When I have a canine of my own, you can bet your booty we will throwdown for him too!

Happy Birthday Hearty America! These patriotic doggie bone cupcakes were for you!

Hearty is patriotic pup so I tinted the icing red and blue and made little white bones out of sugar sheets. I used a stencil to trace the dog bone shape.

super cute liners, right? i am a huge fan of purchasing foil liners instead of paper. the color doesn't fade after you bake them. it's fabulous.

and here's the birthday boy! he doesn't look a day over 16! :)

love.love.love & happy baking!
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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Funfetti Cupcakes for Two!

Back in the day when I still used boxed cake mix to impress my friends with my baking skills, funfetti would have to be one of my top flavors of choice.

Oh how those days are gone. And sometimes I miss them. Those little colorful balls in the batter, the creamy colorful beads in the icing.

So let's bring them back. In a recipe for two. You can brighten anyone's day when they see these on your counter...

Funfetti Cupcakes for Two

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon milk
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sprinkles (i used non pareils for the batter)

The How To:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Line a cupcake pan with two liners (in the middle for even baking).
In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, milk, egg white, vanilla extract, and sugar until thoroughly combined.
Add in the flour and baking powder and whisk gently until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Add in the sprinkles and using a rubber spatula, gently fold them in. Don’t over stir. If you stir too much the dye from the sprinkles will bleed and you’ll have tie dye cupcakes instead of funfetti.
Pour batter into your prepared cupcake pan.
Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Let them cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Vanilla Frosting

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl and an electric mixer, beat the butter, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract until a frosting forms. If you like a thinner frosting, add a bit more milk until you reach your desired consistency. Frost your cooled cupcakes, and toss on some more sprinkles!

yay for funfetti cupcakes!

love.love.love & happy baking!


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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

XL Sugar Cookie Cake

Anyone remember those giant cookie cakes they sold at the bakery kiosks in the mall? I used to beg my dad to get me one anytime we were there. He always said no. What 9 year old needs an entire cake to themselves? It never stopped me from asking though.

Well I'm not nine years old anymore. I'm nine PLUS twenty. So I can have a frickin' cookie cake anytime feel like it. So I made one. And it was delicious. Soft, chewy and filled with yummy little rainbow sprinkles. And then I made another. For a sweet little girl named Kira.

Oh, and did I mention the cute little fondant monkey face? Kira just loves monkeys so I felt it only appropriate.

 XL Sugar Cookie Cake

2 sticks butter, at room temp
2 1/4 cup sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoon almond extract
4 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup rainbow sprinkles

The How To:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In your mixing bowl first cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time while beating on low.

Next add the almond extract and beat for 1 minute.

Place all dry ingredients into the mixer mixing well until blended. Mix in rainbow sprinkles into the dough. Spread mixture into a lightly greased round cookie/pizza pan (yes. press it and spread it with your hands).

Bake for 18-22 minutes or until center is cooked through and edges are golden brown. Let cool completely before frosting.

I tinted some vanilla buttercream pink and went to town on this cookie cake. Please excuse my warped and slanted handwriting, it was my first attempt at it. I need clearly need practice.

Next time I may just try a chocolate chip cookie cake.

Can you think of any others?

love.love.love & happy baking!
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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bride and Groom Cupcakes

In a little over a month, one of my very best friends will be tying the knot. I'm probably almost as excited as she is. I have been stocking up on Kleenex since the day she got engaged.

Her lovely bridal party and myself (as well as her kick ass mom) threw a shower for her last weekend. We all know I immediately signed up to bake for the occasion. (About 4 months before we even set the date.)

I wanted to do something besides what I would typically make so I did some "bride" and "groom" inspired cupcakes. I had alot of help from the ladies making these and we all pretty much sat around and chuckled after we were done because they were so stinkin' adorbs.

Take a peek, they could get a giggle out of you too! :)

** All photos courtesy of Shawna Bielat Photograpy. Check her out and book her! **

The groom cupcakes were carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. The bow ties were made out of black sugar sheets. The top hats were made of jumbo marshmallows dipped in black candy melts with a sugar sheet base.

The bride cupcakes were vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting and a raspberry filling. The veils were made with white chocolate melts and some tulle fabric.

I also made some oreo cake pops tossed in lime greeen to go with the shower color scheme.

And let's not forget the DIY favor bags we made! A super simple craft that turned out so cute.

We used paper lunch bags, made a cute template with Adobe and attached with hole punches and some ribbon. The bags were filled with all of Stacy's favorite candies.

I couldn't end this post without showing you a lovely photo of the bride to be.

And how perfect is it that she's holding a cupcake carrier? Jealous.

It was a pretty wonderful day! Congrats Stace! You're going to be a beautiful bride.


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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

i believe there are two types of carrot cake people.

the "i like to stuff alot of stuff in my carrot cake" people and the "less is more" carrot cake people. i would fall into category b.

i'm not such a fan of raisins, walnuts, pineapple or coconut stuffed into my carrot cake. i like simple. nothing but moist carrots and a generous helping of cinnamon.

this recipe is tried and true. moist and delicious. and for all of you who like to stuff your cakes with that extra stuff, you could surely add it to this batter. you just won't catch me eating it :)

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots (about 3 carrots)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

The How To:

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In a large bowl, whisk together the grated carrots, sugar, oil, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla to combine. Gently fold the flour mixture into the carrot mixture until completely combined.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean--20 to 25 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.

Addicting Cream Cheese Frosting

12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 - 2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

Beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and beat until well blended. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Or eat it from the bowl.

So how about you? What kind of carrot cake do you like? Am I cray cray for skipping out on all the other possibilities?

love.love.love & happy baking!

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Sunflower Cupcakes

pretttyyy cute, right?

i sure think so!

these sunflower cupcakes were made for a bridal shower this past weekend. jaimie, the host of the shower, wanted to go with a western theme for her little sister randi's special day. i literally died when i saw the cute cowboy boots and sunflowers she was decking out the room with. we wanted the cupcakes to match that country chic theme she was going for.

we chose two cupcake flavors, vanilla and carrot cake (the bride's fave) and i topped each cupcake with a buttercream sunflower made from tinted frosting. i have to say i was sqealing with delight when i saw these come together. almost too cute to eat!

another successful baking endeavor! i truly hope randi had an amazing bridal shower! congrats!

have a special event coming up and want a snazzy cupcake for it? you know where to find me!

love.love.love. & happy baking!
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