Friday, May 29, 2009

Giant Java Chocolate Cupcake Cake -TGIF

Happy Friday, Sweet Readers!

This sweet creation was another cake I made for the cake walk at my son's International Festival. I think it was the first of the creations I made to go. I never saw who won it, but I sure hope they enjoyed it!

The cake is a chocolate cake and I topped it with my favorite buttercream. It's a Coffee Kahlua Latte buttercream and it's simply divine! I got the recipe from Carrie over at Fields of Cake and it's my current fav. It's like a creamy wonderful latte. Yum! I also added some chocolate fudge buttercream and some Vahlrona chocolate pearls.

Have a sweet weekend!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Gone Fishin' Cuppies

Hi Sweet Readers! I hope you all had a very relaxing and memorable Memorial Day. I hope you got to spend time with the people you love and remember how precious life is.

I wanted to share some cute little cuppies I made for an order a couple weeks ago. These were for a father's birthday celebration and, as you can guess, he's a fisherman. I made the toppers and added some candy rocks for some fun appeal. I heard that he loved them and so I am a happy baker!
The cake requested was chocolate so I did half dark chocolate and half chocolate malt. The frosting was a decadent rich chocolate buttercream.

Thanks for visiting! Have a great week!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Spring Flower Cupcakes

I love spring! I love summer, too! These cupcakes make me smile because they remind me of some of the splendor God reveals in the flowers around this time. I just love the intricacies of the petals. It always amazes me. Now, mine are nowhere close (especially my roses which I am working on, sweet readers), but still, it's a good reminder!
I hope you all have a glorious day and a relaxing and thankful weekend!
And thank you to those of you who shared your comments...I love to hear from you!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Butterfly Cupcake Cake

Hello Sweet Readers! I hope your week is going well and that you are having a great Wednesday. Here is a butter pecan cupcake cake I made for the cake walk at my son's International Festival (I made a few things ...some of which you have seen and some yet to be seen :) I frosted with with vanilla buttercream and added some yummy handmade candy butterflies. I thought it was so cheery looking. It got nabbed pretty quick...too fast for my boys to win and bring back home to us! Hee hee!
Have a great rest of your week...and let me know what your favorite summertime dessert is if you get a chance! I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

International Cupcakes


Good Morning Sweet Readers!

Just wanted to show you these "earthy" cupcakes today. They simple vanilla cuppies with vanilla buttercream. I made the toppers for my son's International Festival. I thought they fit the theme quite well. I hope you like them!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Batman Cupcakes!

Hi Sweet Readers!

Thanks to all of you who have been leaving comments and letting me know what you are trying lately. I love hearing from you and it is so much fun to hear about what you are baking! Please keep your comments coming. :)

Here are a few of the Batman cuppies I made for an order. The little boy insisted that he have Batman cuppies, so that is what he got! I made some double chocolate cuppies and some chocolate malt cuppies and topped them with vanilla buttercream, a fondant disc and a hand-piped Batman symbol. I have to admit, I need some practice with a steady hand in piping, but I still liked how they came out. I hope you do, too!

Have a sweet weekend!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Kara's Cupcakes...a Review

Hi Sweet Readers! We went to San Francisco this last weekend and you know I had to visit some bakeries. :) I only got to two in San Francisco and one in Berkeley. Alas, I had my kiddos and we DID have to see other things, too (like sea lions, cable cars and the Golden Gate Bridge). So here we are on our way to Kara's Cupcakes in Ghirardelli square. I was excited to get there. I have seen many reviews and pictures and just had to see it myself.
Here it is! She has a prime location right there in the square near the fountain, kiddy corner from the amazing chocolate factory. Very simply done in pink and brown.
Here's a close up of some of the cuppies. I got the Fleur De Sel upon the recommendation of Kendall. It was a deep, rich chocolate cuppie filled with a bit of caramel, chocolate frosting and salt. But more on that later...
The inside of the store. Like I said, it was simply and elegantly done. I liked it. It put the focus on the cupcakes, which is the most important thing, right?!
More of the cupcakes..they were nicely and simply decorated. They were not large cupcakes, but not too small. Perhaps just right! They were all priced at $3.25, just about right, especially given the fact that we were in San Francisco. Her rent must be absolutely through the roof, so it's nice that she doesn't hike the price to pay for that.

The board of flavors. Yum!! It was hard to choose just one, but I do need to keep eating cupcakes, so I can't eat too many at once!
Oh, yeah. This is mine (and my sons' and my hubby's)...
So you know that I liked the shop. It was very well done and elegant and very tasteful. Kendall was nice and knowledgeable, but poor girl, doesn't eat many cupcakes anymore (too long working around them, she said)! She recommended a couple different ones, including this Fleur de Sel. Isn't it beautiful?! Well, I graciously shared with my family (btw, boys and men take very big bites!) and we all adored it. It was very moist, with just the right texture. The frosting was TO DIE FOR! I am not one of those people who have EVER said that something was too sweet, mind you. Don't think my family has, either. This frosting was decadent, rich and chocolaty. Sooo very good. I couldn't taste the caramel much, but I did see a smidge of it. The salt perhaps cut down the sweetness of the frosting, but, hmmm, don't think so. It was just fabulous.

You gotta go next time you are in the city..and let me know what you get!

Have a great day, sweet readers!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dog Gone Cupcakes!

Hi Sweet Readers!
I hope your week has gotten off to a wonderful start. I wanted to share these cuppies that I made for sweet Annie's 8th birthday. I made the toppers with my Cricut (inspired by my sweet fellow baker Glory who got me to get out my stamping and scrapping supplies) and I just love these little guys!
As you can see, I had to add a little bling to the doggie's collars. I just couldn't resist after they were done!
Annie requested a strawberry filling and that is what she received! I made vanilla bean cuppies and filled them with the strawberry filling and then topped them with a vanilla cherry buttercream. I heard that she really enjoyed them...and so did mom!

Have a great week!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day !

Hi Sweet Readers! I know many of you are mothers and so I wanted to send you these cupcake flowers to wish you a very special Mother's Day! It contains 36 mini cupcakes and oh, just a tad of frosting. I hope it makes you smile. :) I made it for a client yesterday and she gets to give it to her mom, but since I took a picture, I'm also giving it to you!

I don't get to see my mom today but I will get to next week. I so look forward to that time. I have a wonderful mother and I am blessed beyond measure. I am also blessed with a great mother-in-law. The best of both worlds.
And here is the "mother" of this blog with her wonderful boys. We just had a little escape to SF this weekend and had some great adventures together. (btw, I have bakery reviews to come :)

These boys are the best and challenge me daily to be a better mom. I hope I can follow the examples set before me and show them what amazing treasures they are.

Have a great day sweet readers!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cinnamon Apple Cake With A Toffee Crust

Hi Sweet Readers!
I hope your week is going well so far. It's been crazy over here and I will have much to share with you soon, but for now, I wanted to tempt you with this luscious cinnamon apple cake with an amazing toffee crust. I got the recipe from wonderful Patricia over at Technicolor Kitchen and it was heavenly. Doesn't it look so amazing, too? Well, don't look too closely. I didn't quite bake it enough, so, well, the middle didn't get quite cooked enough. Bummer. The outer pieces were fabulous, though! :)

I have to say in my defense that the reason it was undercooked is because I HATE baked goods that are overcooked. Really, what's the point of dry cake or dry cookies (unless they are meant to be that way and I have a big cup of coffee or tea to enjoy with, say, a biscotti). Anyhow, I always err on the side of under-cooking and sometimes it doesn't end up so well. But again, the outside pieces and top were fabulous and I encourage you to try this recipe. It can be found at
http://technicolorkitcheninenglish.blogspot.com/2009/03/apple-cake-with-toffee-crust.html.

Thanks for checking in!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Margaritas, Anyone?


Okay, so it's me. And you know me. How about a margarita cupcake? :) Happy Cinco de Mayo, sweet readers!

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Mini Rose Bouquet



Happy Monday, Sweet Readers!

Here is another cute cupcake bouquet I made this weekend. This one is done with about 15-18 mini cupcakes in banana and brown sugar flavors. I then did the rose swirl with vanilla bean buttercream. I love how it looks like a mini flower display.

I made this for a cake walk at my son's school's international festival and I was told that someone actually picked it up and sniffed it! Too much. Love it.

I hope you have a fantastic week!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

My First Cupcake Bouquet



Hi Sweet Readers!

I hope you are having a great weekend so far! I wanted to share my first "cupcake bouquet" with you. I was bringing some cuppies to a bible study Friday and saw this little basket in my laundry room (among other "must keep and pile up"items) and thought it might be fun to make a little bouquet out of the cuppies. I like how it came out, but it does need some tweaking.

I did one today with mini cuppies and it was more cohesive and looked a little better. I will share that with you soon :) I like the way the frosting sort of looks like flowers and all in all, it survived. Traveling in the car was crazy..like taking your first baby home from the hospital..well, OK, not that nerve racking, but I was concerned and it did biff it a couple times. Not too badly, though.


So there ya go..it's held together with a flower foam block and wooden skewers...some of the cuppies wanted to slide down when placed vertical, so I had to re-angle some.

Enjoy and have a sweet Sunday!

Friday, May 1, 2009

The "Perfect" Chocolate Chip Cookie?

Hello Sweet Readers! Happy Friday :)

There is always much talk, speculation, and baking of the "ultimate", "perfect", and delicious chocolate chip cookie. It's my hubby's favorite and everything else besides "my" chocolate chip cookies are always met with, "well, it's OK, but it's not your chocolate chip". I have tried numerous recipes, all claiming to be the best. Every single one thus far has not met his expectations except mine (and his mother's, which is very similar). So when I saw that Cooks Illustrated had a recipe for the "perfect" chocolate chip cookie, I had to try it. The author of the article (just love that magazine and reading the how tos, btw) tried over 700 batches and countless varieties of just about everything that goes into a chocolate chip cookie. Was it better than mine? Read on...
The first thing that was WAY different about every other CCC recipe I have tried is that you melt and brown the butter (and less than two sticks, just barely).
Then you mix it with the sugars. She uses more brown sugar than white sugar. The recipe calls for mixing it for 30 seconds and letting it rest...three times. This melts the sugar sufficiently and give it an amazing toffee/caramel flavor. To me, it really stood out in the end. The taste was much more complex and vibrant than a "regular" CCC.

Then the dry ingredients are mixed in. Note that you cannot use a handy mixer, either handheld or Kitchenaid. Work those muscles :)
OOH, then in go the chocolate chips. I used some chips, but cut up some Valhrona discs. I also added a tad more chocolate than she said..can't help it.
There ya go...the dough. Oh so tantalizing, isn't it?

Hugely different was the amount of cookies this recipe made. Only 16. Compared to the normal 5 dozen or so, not what you want to make for a large potluck. The cookies need to be bigger to get the right consistency of crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside...
Here they are baked. Oh, yeah~
The finished product. The verdict? I actually liked them better (the size helped:). I thought their taste was very complex and you could really tell the difference it made browning the butter. The method was much more time consuming, but the toffee flavors and the perfect chewiness with crispiness was the bomb! My husband, however, still likes my CCC recipe better. So if I have an intense craving for a large, killer CCC cookie, I'm going to these, but for all else, back to the old recipe. I'm here to please, after all! :)

Have a sweet day!

Post note: Just had to also tell you that I froze some of the dough that I had already formed into the correct size..I defrosted a couple the other night and ...oh my goodness...they are still soooo good. Still my fav! Just sayin'! :)

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