Posts tagged ‘cupcakes’

February 16, 2012

Chocolate Red Wine Cupcakes

Most everyone enjoys Chocolate (and those that don’t need their heads checked, but that’s just my unsolicited opinion). Also, almost everyone can also find a Red Wine that they like (even if they don’t agree with those around them on what makes it good).

These Cupcakes combine the love of chocolate & wine.

For these Chocolate Red Wine Cupcakes I figured the Cupcake Winery wine would be a perfect pairing! Cupcake Winery’s Red Velvet is a combination of Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah – which has all of the perfect elements to pair with chocolate! But, if you enjoy sweet fruits a great wine would be a nice Blackberry or Strawberry Wine – that would make this a very sweet variation but I can’t wait to try that!! No matter what, the flavor of the wine will be a nice subtle undertone to the cupcakes but will shine through more in the frosting, so be sure to use something that you like!

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January 8, 2012

featured as a Top 10 of 2011….


My Chocolate Cake Cheesecake was featured on a very tasty “Year-End Wrap-Up” over at Cupcake Apothecary where there are (as always) tons of goodies to tempt your eyes and tastebuds!

Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

October 12, 2011

Banana Cake with Nutella Frosting

One of my Best Friends (Miss J.W.) loves Nutella. For the past three (I think) years I have given her Nutella for her birthday (and possibly even some as Christmas gifts in there too). I think she has come to expect it (when she opened her present this year she said “yes, I almost bought some at the store the other day”).

For her birthday recently I knew I wanted to make Nutella something! I was running out of time as it got closer and couldn’t go all-out like I really wanted to. BUT, I knew that I still wanted to make her something special (in addition to the brunch I was making to celebrate the awesome person that she is, her requests of a veggie frittata & bagels with lox – a friend with the same taste in food as you, is the best kind of friend) to celebrate her day. (P.S after brunch we headed to an awesome tasting & tour of Franklin Hills Vineyards – check it out)

So I asked myself – what goes best with Nutella (besides more Nutella)? I decided that Double Nutella might be too much, but that BANANAS are the perfect match for Nutella!! AND since I was short on time, I even cheated and used a doctored up box mix to make her cake and cupcakes.

The cake wasn’t too fancy looking and the cupcakes were just classic simple decorated cupcakes, perfect for a simple birthday celebration… Happy Birthday Jess & we can celebrate any day!

Banana Cake

  • 1 package yellow cake mix (and all required elements for that)
  • 2 ripe, mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1 Hershey Kiss per cupcake

Make cake mix according to package directions. Once your liquid is mixed in, add your mashed bananas and continue to mix until smooth(2 minutes) Mix in your chocolate chips (if using). I made one 9×9 cake and 10 cupcakes – but feel free to make whatever you want. With the cupcakes – feel free to add a Hershey Kiss into the batter before frosting and then just follow baking instructions on your box. Let cool & then frost

Nutella Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup nutella
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (or more)
  • 1 – 2 tbsp cream (if needed)

In the bowl of a large mixer, whip butter and nutella until creamy. Gradually add in icing sugar until desired consistency is reached. Add cream if needed. Frost cake/cupcakes & ENJOY (I needed to make slightly more in order to frost everything, so feel free to double the recipe)

And I leave you with this, Today’s Question of the Day… What is your favorite flavor to go with Nutella (or are you one of those Nutella haters)!?

July 8, 2011

Butterbeer Cupcakes

These cupcakes go out to all the Harry Potter Fans out there!

More than a decade is coming to a close. In June of 1997 the first Harry Potter book [Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone] was released and a Nation (world) was hooked.. we read the books, we hurt and laughed with the characters, we bought/devoured/shared the books, we loved hearing the ‘rags to riches’ story of the author, & were thrilled movies when the first movie was released in 2001 (and compared every detail of the movie with the book). This month – an era draws to a close (or at least becomes a complete package for future generations. The final installment of the last Harry Potter Movie [Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows] comes out next week!

For my birthday a few months back – I went to NYC with my Mom, 2nd Mom, & two youngest “siblings”. We headed into the FREE Teacher Preview Day of Discovery Times Square: Harry Potter (as well as visiting Toys R Us, the Disney Store, and getting great pizza @ John’s – but I digress). It was an awesome day and the Harry Potter exhibit was pretty cool, I enjoyed checking out all the details that went into every prop and costume on display (kinda like a Potter Museum!).

Well, after visiting the exhibit and being totally stoked for the final installment in the series, I noticed that Erica (over at Erica’s Sweet Tooth) had posted these Butterbeer Cupcakes, which I immediately knew I had to make for my dear friend, co-worker, and self-proclaimed Harry Potter addict: Jolene. Happy Harry Potter celebration to Jolene & everyone else out there!

Enjoy these cupcakes as you curl up with a good book, or head out to watch the last movie, or make a batch and have a Harry Potter Movie  Marathon with your friends.

While you are enjoying these cupcakes, don’t be afraid to try this Warm Butterbeer OR a (alcohol included) Butterbeer Cocktail: 1/2 can cream soda, 1 shot butterscotch schnapps, and a 1/4 t of that butter flavored powder – ENJOY!!

Butterbeer Cupcakes


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp butter flavoring
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup cream soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tins with paper liners. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffly, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each. Add in vanilla and butter flavoring.

Combine buttermilk and cream soda in a small bowl and alternate adding that combination with the flour mixture with the mixer on low, starting and ending with the flour.

Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely on wire racks.

Butterscotch Ganache

  • 1 11-oz package butterscotch chips
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

Melt butterscotch chips and heavy cream together using a double boiler until completely smooth. Cool to room temperature to allow the ganache to slightly thicken. Fill a plastic squeeze bottle with the ganache, and insert tip into each cupcake, filling until the ganache starts to slightly overflow.

Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup butterscotch ganache
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp butter flavoring
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • Splash of cream (as needed)

For the frosting, cream butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add ganache, vanilla, butter flavoring, and salt and mix until well combined. Beat in powdered sugar and allow it to come together for about 2 minutes. Add cream a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes with a large tip and drizzle leftover butterscotch ganache over each.

Recipe yields 18 cupcakes.

And I leave you with this question… what Movies or Books are a Pop-Culture Phenomenon in your life!?

June 22, 2011


“We just finished up Blue’s Clues – We just finished up Blue’s Clues – We just finished up Blue’s Clues – because its a really fun show!” 

The local theater group that I’m part of (Black Sheep Productions at the Sherman Theater) just finished our production of BLUE’S CLUES LIVE – BLUE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY!!!


Growing up, I was not part of the “Blue’s Generation” but still had seen enough Blue’s Clues to be excited – especially since we know I am really just a kid at heart!.

I was Magenta (who only showed up at the end of Blue’s party). Although at first I was bummed to not have Magenta be a larger part of the show – showing up 2/3 of the way through had its good side: it gave me less time in that costume! These costumes were awesome, but hot and big and they took a lot outta me!

In order to celebrate Blue’s Clues I made BLUE VELVET CUPCAKES! Warning: these take a lot of food coloring and unlike Red Velvet: these are made with vanilla cake. I did cheat a little on these and used a box of Betty Crocker Mix (but I did make my own frosting since I’m not a fan of can frosting at all – that is why I thought I hated frosting growing up actually).

the cupcakes are a lot more 'blue' in person

Since this just used vanilla cake mix – I bet that you could take this recipe with your Wilton food colorings and make whatever color cakes/cupcakes you wanted – that would be very very cool for a kid’s party (or graduation party or the possibilities are endless). Get your Velvet Cake groove-on!

Blue Velvet Cupcake

  • 1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® white cake mix
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons royal blue paste food color
  • 1 toothpickful violet paste food color
Follow the directions on the back of your box of cake mix for cupcakes (in my oven, it always takes the shorter amount of time with cupcakes). Make sure to add your food coloring after the rest of the ingredients have been incorporated & remember that the color will change a bit as it bakes – so it might look a little too ‘green’ before baking – but it turns out a nice blue!


  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 block cream cheese
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1T + milk
  • 1 t vanilla (I made this an almond flavored – do whatever you feel)
  • blue food coloring to desired shade (add a drop or two of red to richen it as well
Whip your butter & cream cheese until light and airy in your mixer. Then add your powdered sugar. Once incorporated add some milk to get desired consistency (you can always add, but can not take out). Then add your flavoring and start mixing colors!!
I always like to pipe the icing onto my cupcakes (I actually find it easier than using an offset spatula & I can always get a more consistent look). Feel free to ice these however you want and add some sugar sprinkles on top for even more fun!

And I leave you with this, a quote from another classic show: the Wizard of Oz and L. Frank Baum, “Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true”

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