Saturday, December 17, 2011

Peppermint Santa Hats and Swirled Eggnog & Frosty

Made these for a cookie exchange, wait let me 'splain...
There was also a craft exchange and since baking is a craft, I fudged a little (hee hee) and took these yummies...

 Chocoate Cupcakes with peppermint and vanilla buttercream
My recipe *look inspired by Luxefinds article

 Yellow Butter Cupcakes with Eggnog Buttercream *(All me)
Ok, did not make this guy. Found him on the faculty room table, but thought he was so cute!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gobble Gobble

So I was inspired by the technique I used for Lucy's b-day cupcakes and decided the painted bag would make cute turkey tails. I used a leaf tip to make the feathers. not too shabby and oh so yummy!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Lovelies for Lucy

The inspiration...sweet Lucy turned one and to celebrate her parents had a rainbow inspired party. They hid these cuties all around the park and had the kids hunt for them. They gave me the great honor of making the cupcakes for the festivities.  We decided it would be fun to try and create something similar to the suckers.

 Here they are...
Chocolate cupcakes with dulce de leche buttercream frosting.

How to:
Cook cupcakes as usual, with a sharp knife, cut a small slit through the cupcake liner (cupcakes can be frozen to make this easier), then insert popsicle stick. I chose multicolored ones with colorful ribbons to match the theme, then frost!
The secret to the swirls:  paint lines inside the piping bag using a small paintbrush with gel icing colors before adding frosting.

Had to add Lucy's pinata...can't get much cuter than a cupcake!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fall Felicity

Think I have a new addiction, I know it's hard to believe there is room in my repertoire but this little piece of heaven needs a place of its own. And who would have guessed Cracker Barrel? Let me 'splain.
Creamy pumpkin custard (nope, me either not a custard fan...this made me change my mind!), topped with a huge swirl of caramel mousse (I could write a whole page on this alone, creamy, yet light and airy, but rich with a deep caramel flavor...ah) all topped off with homemade gingersnap crumble and a gingersnap cookie-all of the flavors of fall in one scrumptious bowl. Too bad (probably good for me) there is not a Cracker Barrel anywhere close to me. I only hope they still have it in November when we go back! I will definitely be making a stop.

Fall Flavors

Recently visited family in Utah and of course, had to stop by one of my favorite spots to get my sugar fix, The Sweet Tooth Fairy. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip with cream cheese frosting, and Salted Caramel. These scrumptious delights did not disappoint!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Halloween Sweet Treats

 Witch Cake Pops.
Follow Cakepop recipe ( I use Bakerella's). Cover with Wilton Candy Melts in "Spooky Green" (I purchased mine at Walmart) 
Directions for witch hats:
at Half Baked the cake blog
Place hats on while Candy Melts are not quite set & hats will stay on better.

Yummy, quick and easy Halloween treat/snacks. Salty and sweet together, what could be better?
Taken from Cakeinfo
I line my cookie sheet pan with pretzels (I use Snyder's of Hanover squares)
Unwrap enough Hershey Kisses Hugs to place one one each pretzel
Place in a 350 degree oven for 1-2 minutes
Take out of oven and while still warm, gently place a candy corn on top of each Hug.
Let cool.
Can be placed in the refridgerator to expedite cooling process.
Voila! Easy and Yummy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Deluxe version of Monkey Cupcakes for B-day Boy

Decided to give the monkeys a make-over for the b-day boy's actual birthday.

I like the fuzz.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cupcakes for Monkey Boy's B-Day

September is the time of year we turn to all things monkey...what am I saying, we are always about the monkey. But especially for Estevan's bday. Made these sweeties up for his class tomorrow. I think they'll enjoy.

I used Nilla Wafers for the nose (original size) and minis for the ears (snip the ends off with kitchen shears so they fit flush). Markings on nose made with edible markers. Eyes are mini marshmallows snipped in half with a chocolate chip poked in tip first. Couldn't be easier.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

An Oldie but a Goodie!

These are great when you need a quick, easy cookie. Four ingredients!
Here they are:
Cake mix (any flavor)
1 egg
1/4 c oil (I use canola)
1/4 c water

That's it! 350 degrees for 8 minutes.

I used a cherry chip mix for this batch and added M&M's to the top just for fun.

I use my small icecream scoop and get about two and a half dozen out of the batch.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pumpkin Muffins

Fall is in the air...can you smell it? Time to break out the pumpkin! Be forewarned however, at this time of the year, it is difficult to find in stock at most stores. Stores usually don't start carrying regularly until the end of September, beginning of October. So if you are lucky enough to find some, stock up! And then bring me a can, won't ya? ;) 
This muffin was kind of a fluke, but a yummy discovery. I had heard of mixing a spiced cake mix with a can of pumpkin to make muffins and wanted to try it, but all I had was a box of Pillsbury Sugar Free Yellow cake mix that I had purchased to try.
I am a skeptic when it comes to taking the sugar out of my sweets and claiming that they still taste great, but since it was all I had I tried. To replace the spice, I also added a few tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice. Ok, I added three of four, but my spice was cheap and not very flavorful. The end result...heaven! So yummy, moist and pumpkiney, is that a word? If not, it should be! I added a few chocolate chips just to the top to add some sweet, but not enough to damage the "sugar free" of the cake mix. I had eaten a couple (yea right) when I remembered that they were semi-sugar-free and they still tasted great! Who knew?

So to is the recipe:

Cake mix, 15 oz. can 100% pumpkin (not pie filling), Pumpkin pie spice (to taste),
plus a few semi-sweet chocolate chips to sprinkle on top before baking.
350 degrees for 17 minutes.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Latest Teddy bear Cake pan Escapades

This August a friend of mine had a b-day party for several family members, since all of them were “Leo’s”, we decided a lion was the way to go.  Since one of the b-days boys was turning one and not to tolerant to dairy, we decided to keep his cake frosting and mostly decoration free, so the small teddy bear cake pan was actually used as a teddy bear, (I think the first time ever!) A few easily removed fondant pieces and the b-day boy could smash in style without any nasty repercussions.

Loved the Leo cake, easily one of my favorites, before his main he was a pretty smashing cougar too, think I may have to make a cake one of these days for my own alma mater.  With dark fudge cake and peanut butter and chocolate frosting, he tasted pretty good too!

He's Baaack! More Tales of the Teddybear Cake Pan

Continuing our chat on the Teddy bear cake pan…
The teddy bear cake pan has been working overtime at my friend Katherine's house and I wanted to show you all of the lovelies that she has created with it. Each work of art represents a rival football team to her beloved USC, Katherine and her fellow Trojans then take great joy in impaling the cute cake with their traditional sword at each home-game tailgate party. Great fun, good football, but more importantly awesome cakes! 

And how darling are these b-day cakes???


Lost in Cyberspace

4th of July cake pops, just found this photo. These were so good! Did my normal cake pop thing, but added Rum (just flavoring my friends) although you could add the real too. ;) and voila...
instant rum ball on a stick. So yummy! I added blended maraschino cherries in the next batch for an even more traditional rum ball taste. (Yes, there was a next batch) The kiddoes loved them and thought they were delightful “bubblegum” flavored. If that’s what they want to believe great, bring on the bubblegum!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Em's Flowers

Em wanted to take a treat to church tomorrow, Mommy is substitute teaching her class for the next few weeks, so of course there must be treats. Sugar = Spirit, right? (Not actual doctrine folks...well maybe mine). She requested chocolate flowers with pink icing inside. Here is my interpretation...

I used this recipe along with my buttercream.

Had to make little ones for tasting! Yummo!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Best of the Worst

The best of the cake wreck that happened today (below). At first things went well, then I decided I would place the cakes in the warm sun  just to soften the chocolate so I could smooth out some wrinkles, which worked well until I moved the cakes.  Of course everything inside had also warmed and everything shifted. After that and my two year old eating Indie's satchel & foot, when I walked into the other room, I called it quits.  The b-day boy loved the results though & I guess that's what it's all about, right?

Saying Goodbye to Fondant

I need to quit Fondant. I know I've said it many times before, but we are not good for each other. Sure on a cute little cupcake, nothing of real substance or weight Fondant is great, but once you add a little pound cake, or frosting the party is over and Fondant cracks. I have said I am leaving Fondant behind and sticking to my true love Buttercream...ah! but alas, I continue to try Fondant again and again only to have my heart broken after spending hour upon hour with it. So there, I have publicly said it, I am out, no more. Today I met Fondant's cousin; I thought things would be different. It was more like a modeling chocolate and was fairly easy to make, I thought we could go the distance, until the final assembly and then it too cracked under the pressure. I was hoping that this time would be different and that I could mend what was broken, but it wasn’t meant to be. Don’t get me wrong, this new guy was delicious. Too delicious & I indulged much more than I should have, but Fondant, I need to quit you. You are frustrating to me and I’m afraid no professional counseling can make me feel the way I thought I once felt about you. My true love is buttercream, I realize now it always was. Goodbye cruel Fondant. Hello Butter!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Craving Satisfied!

Not the prettiest I've made, but definitely one of the yummiest. If you like cinnamon rolls, this is the cupcake for you! Thanks Confessions of a Cookbook Queen for the recipe.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sweet Idea

Ok, not about cupcakes but a sweet idea none-the-less...

I have been trying to get my children to eat a healthier breakfast. I love instant oatmeal and feel that for convenience and ease, it fits the bill. They flatly refuse to try it. But this morning I had one of those once-in-a-blue-moon great ideas and it totally worked! We had an oatmeal taste-testing session. Each child was a fieldwork expert. They each had numbers & ranked the oatmeal 1, 2, or 3. 1being their favorite, 2 second choice, etc...I wrote the flavors on the bottom of the bowls so they wouldn't know which was which. I told them that “real taste-testers” need to take a big taste to fully experience the flavor of each so they could make a good decision. I also told them that they could return to a bowl at anytime to try again if they needed to (which they did)! By the time we were through, they had eaten quite a lot of oatmeal and had three favorites that are on record with their mom, so the "I don't like that" excuse can't fly anymore. They each gobbled up a bowl of chocolate chip flavor (the winner) after the testing. Ok, so not the healthiest choice of the five flavors, but today it was the battle, not the war that was won and I will enjoy my small victory!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cupcake Tour 2011 Day 1 Old Towne Orange

It's day one of the tour and I am afraid we just might make some enemies in the Ol' Towne today, Orange that is. It's sad actually we visited three stores and didn't find one cupcake that we wanted to eat, that's right; A & I did not eat one whole cupcake...speaks volumes doesn't it?
These pretties are from the Perfect Circle. They are beautiful! The Shoppe is so cute with its black and Tiffany Blue.  They are really amazing to look at...and that is where the love stops for me.

I was so disappointed when a parent (because of taste, not the generosity of said parent),  brought two of them to me for Teacher Appreciation last year. They were dry and the frosting tasted off. I figured they had probably purchased them ahead of time and they were not particulary fresh.

P.C. recently won Cupcake Wars, could Candace be wrong? Surely not, so we decided to give them another try. That, and A. had a BOGO coupon. Needless to say, they did not deserve the second chance. My chocolate cupcake tasted like they had fumigated for who-knows-what that morning and forgot to cover their bins, nope take that back, must have been the night before that the decontaminating occured because the cake was so dry!

Next we tried Rockwell's. Their cupcakes are equally beautiful and it was difficult deciding which flavor. We ended up with a red velvet, tiramisu, chocolate and cutesy pie patriotic (it was the 1st after all! Ok, wrong country but you get the point).

Again, all about the presentation which I will admit is important, but you need the flavor to back it up. The cakes were dry, even the tirimisu. Don't know how you make tirimisu (ah, soaked in coffee???) dry, but this one was a poser-marscapone cheese frosting with some coffee sprinkled on top of a dull dry cupcake. The vanilla frosting left us asking what in the world they put in it? It had a very artificial, unidentifiable taste.  A is the red velvet connoisseur, & although she didn't like them;  I actually thought the cream-cheese frosting was good, maybe it was in comparison to the others & that it was actually palatable.

Last on the stop was ABC Cakes. I know you know them for cake decorating supplies (if you don't, you probably don't bake, or don't live on this side of the OC), but they just opened up a little bakery in their shop.

I wanted to say great things about them because I want to love them for more than just the closest supply shop to my residence, but their bakery service is worse than their store's regular customer service (which again, if you frequent them like I do, you get what I mean). It took us forever to get waited on, with employees walking right past us several times. I finally walked over to the regular cashier and asked if we could get some help in the bakery. She directed us to a make-shift doorbell and told us to "ring it for service" seriously?

She did say I could pay for my other items there though, thank goodness because I was getting tired of waiting. But nope, after getting my selection the gal told me that I could not purchase everything there because she was new and didn't know how, but that I could get back in the line that I was in originally. Oh, goodie!

After all of that work, I was really ready for a yummy treat...sadly, no. Grocery-store bakery at best.  Even the cake-bites disappointed, guess I will have to return to Utah to get my fix of those too.

It's a sad cupcake day indeed. The saddest part, is the kids didn't even clean up the leftovers once I got home. You know it's bad when the kids won't eat them!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Cupcake Tours 2011

Here it is, the Itinerary of Cupcake Tours 2011. Sounds so official doesn't it?
Well, maybe if  Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle ( was a food documentary.

Yea, it's more like that.

Just a couple of chicks with a severe addiction and a snob attitude about what makes a fine cupcake, determined to find the best in the O.C. So, here is the "official" itinerary for this summer's tour.

Cupcake Tour 2011
*Black Forest Bakery  Lake Forest 


*LayerCake Bakery Irvine, CA 92604

                                                 *85 Degrees Celcius Irvine, CA, 92606               

*Wonderland Bakery @ the Bluffs Newport Beach

*Rockwells (Creative Cakes) Villa Park

*Blue Frog Bakery Orange

*Sugar Me Bakery Orange

*ABC Cakes Orange

Please feel free to offer suggestions. We are always looking for an excuse to taste another cupcake and would be happy to be your guinea pigs. Snort, snort. 

Tales of A Little Teddy Bear Cake Pan

It all started with this guy. He seems innocent enough doesn't he? I remember my mom borrowing the mold from her cousin and using him to make an Animal cake for my brother's b-day.  Animal (from the muppets) you know, this guy...

sure wish I had a photo (ah-hem Mom) of it. It was amazing. My mom is amazing. I learned what I know from her. She is so creative and ingenious with all she does, especially her cakes. Anyway I knew I had to have one of those molds. I remember the teddy pan  being a lot more than Animal. Several b-day cakes around our house were born from his loins. About eight years ago, I finally purchased one of my own. And I have put him to good use around my own home. Here are a few of my teddy bear cake pan creations...

I am sure this particular post will be a work in progress. I am already planning an Elmo cake for Lil'Cupcake's b-day in August.