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Ok, so I am not exactly a Bulldog fan. My entire family is and they love these cupcakes. My daughter said we should have a football party and make them again. I will agree they are pretty darn cute, but in a cute cupcake sorta way. These were for my best friend’s nephew’s birthday.

Typical for the way things go in my life, these did not go as planned. I fully expected to have trouble with the bulldog topper and breeze through the UGA emblem. As luck would have it I made these adorable puppy cupcakes last weekend so the bulldogs turned out to be pretty easy. The emblems on the other hand gave me trouble. I just couldn’t work out the right system to get a good clean logo. I ended up hand painting them, which really I am happy with ~ although no two were exactly the same. You may not believe it but I am not artistic. I can bake or craft all day long but ask me to draw or paint something and it will look like a toddler did it. I beleive my next football challenge is the Falcons, give me a few years and I just may work through all the teams.

Castle Cake

A beautiful castle cake for the beautiful Princess Aurora. This cake was for my very good friend’s nieces first birthday. I am actually not sure that friend is even the right word, they are family to us. As for the cake, the bottom 2 turrets are cake and the upper 5 turrets are made of rice krispie treats covered in fondant. The Princess was served a matching smash cake topped with her crown. Love it!

This recipe is actually my grandmother’s, and it was my favorite fall treat growing up. It isn’t really your traditional cookie though ~ Picture pumpkin bread and a chocolate chip cookie made a tasty little baby, that would be this cookie. It’s a moist cake like cookie that makes a fall day perfect. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie
makes 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup oil
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1 tsp milk

Directions:
Combine pumpkin, sugar, oil, and eggs in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Gradually mix flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture add dissolved soda & milk. Stir in chocolate chips and vanilla. Drop spoonfuls onto a lightly greased cookie sheets.
Bake at 375 for 10 -12 minutes

This post should have been titled CUTEST CUPCAKES IN THE WORLD, because that is indeed what they are. They were made for a little girls first birthday and were accompanied by a little pink smash cake with a cutie-pa-tutie puppy topper. My husband keeps telling me that cupcakes are really my niche and I should just stick to making them, after these I might just have to agree with him. The cake topper is my first work with making a fondant figure. I promise that if I get the chance to make another one I will take pictures and give you guys a tutorial. These guys really are too cute!

One of my best friends recently had a birthday. My friend is a bubbly, happy, honest, loving, wonderful woman who not only happens to be a real live super mom but also one of the best people I know. I can without a doubt say that I am a better person because she is my friend. I am so thankful to have her in my life. In celebration of her birthday we threw an Eat, Pray, Love style Italian dinner party. It was so much fun spending an evening with some of my favorite ladies and enjoying great food and wine. I can’t say that I had a plan with this cake I just wanted something pretty and fun. It was a torted lemon cake with layers of raspberry filling, lemon curd and cream cheese frosting ~ the birthday girls favorite. I hope the evening was as much fun for her as it was for me.

Can you tell I have become obsessed with rounded edges on my pictures. They remind of the old pictures we used to have growing up. :)

I am sure you have heard that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I thought I would do my part and give you a pink cupcake recipe. But first a little awareness. You can find some Breast Cancer statistics here. Just a few that I thought were very interesting ~

* About 1 in 8 women in the United States (between 12 and 13%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.

* About 70-80% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic abnormalities that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.

*About 39,840 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2010 from breast cancer, though death rates have been decreasing since 1991. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness.

* Nearly 70% of all breast cancers are found through self-exams. If you don’t already know learn how to do a self exam here

So on to the recipe! Breast cancer awareness is all about thinking pink & my favorite pink food is cotton candy so I thought it was the prefect time for a Cotton Candy Cupcake. Well my recipe was a flop! They were a little dry and the icing was all wrong. I am not going to give up cotton candy cupcakes just yet, but the recipe is just not ready to share. Since I had already made up my mind to post a recipe I though instead of a so-so cupcake recipe I would just share my buttercream recipe. Many of you have been asking for it and it was a great last-minute substitution. In the meantime any of you dying for a Cotton Candy Cupcake you can find one here It is not the recipe I used, I was going for more of a melt in your mouth like the candy kind of recipe, but like I said it is still a work in progress. As for my buttercream recipe it is pretty fool-proof, very tasty and easy to get creative with so I hope you enjoy it!

Buttercream Icing

Ingredients
2 lbs. powdered sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened.
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
1/4 tsp. almond extract

Instructions
Cream butter, shortening, and extracts until creamy and smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar and water. Mix thoroughly on medium speed for hand mixers, low-speed for stand mixers, until smooth and creamy. Do not overmix or mix on high-speed.

Icing can be refrigerated for 2 weeks in an airtight container. Iced cake can sit at room temp. for 2-3 days.

*NOTE*
The best thing about this recipe is it is so easy to get creative with it. Just sub out the milk and extracts with the flavors you want. You can sub any flavored coffee creamers for the milk and any extract/liquor for the vanilla extract. An example would be to use lime juice instead of milk and 1Tbsp tequilla for the extract with 1/4 tsp orange extract for margarita buttercream. (If you don’t want the tequilla just leave it out and add a pinch of salt it will do the same thing) You could sub coffee, Kahlua, orange juice, apple juice, pomegranate juice… ~ just have fun with it.

Words of Wisdom…

Doesn’t this cake just make you smile! It is so bright and happy, I love it. In fact I just might say this is the cutest cake I have ever made. In all honesty the picture doesn’t do it justice. It was even cuter in person. The top cupcake was her smash cake, just pop it off and smash. This cake was made for my old friend’s adorable daughter. I admittedly haven’t done a great job keeping up with old friends. In fact before the magical time vacuum that we call Facebook I only managed to keep up with 2 1/2 friends from highschool. And that was only due to sheer luck, coincidence and the occasional radio contest. Thank you Facebook. Now one of those friends is a mommy and has the cutest little girl. Happy birthday Lily and Kimmy you are great mom!

This cake is so cute it get's two pictures!

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