LA Cupcake Challenge 2012

February 5, 2012 at 8:35 AM | Posted in blog event, cupcakes | 4 Comments
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This might be my favorite day of the year.

It’s the one place I can wear all my crazy cupcake gear and people think it’s cute instead of wanting to have me committed. Every where I turned people wanted to take my picture. It’s fun being a celebrity for the day. Although, the morning after, I’m seeing white streaks b/c of all the camera flashes now. lol

Yup, it’s that time again! I’m talking about the LA Cupcake Challenge 2012 in Hollywood. I am fortunate enough to be invited by Drink:Eat:Play (the event’s sponsor) and Dan Silberstein every year as Judge. Yes, he’s really that tall and I’m really that short.

Unfortunately last year I couldn’t make it so I was even MORE excited to go this year.

I brought my friend with me since my Husband declined my guest invitation b/c “… one year is enough for me…” HA HA! Wuss. Even though I prepared her I don’t think she REALLY understood the enormity of the event until she saw it with her own eyes. It might be one of the few times she’s been speechless and maybe a little scared.

I love this event because it’s very casual. My friend that came with me describe it almost like a wine tasting. There are various booths set up around the Renaissance hotel ballroom. After you check in at the front table you can go up to any booth, meet the bakers, sample their cupcakes, talk with other cupcake lovers and just enjoy the atmosphere. We met a couple at our table that even brought their own jug of milk! Hilarious.

(Top row: Friandise, Cake Mama’s, Cake Mama’s mini helpers, [Desi]gn Cupcakes, Sheree’s Sweets, Frosted Heaven)


(Bottom row: Bake U Happy (?), Dulcitas, Polkatots, Sugar Babies, Sugar Jones, My Delight)

I hope I didn’t make a mistake on any of the bakers above. Note to bakers: If you wear a shirt that has your cupcakery name on it it’s easier to remember you! Everyone was very sweet to take the time out of the line chaos to take a picture with me. Well… most everyone. But I’m a good girl and won’t mention names. All I’ll say is that name dropping does not a tasty cupcake make.

One of the highlights of the night was FINALLY meeting Elise of Cupcake Activist. Check out her blog in a few days. She does a MUCH BETTER recap of the cupcakes than I do. I was too busy eating!

Yikes! I have total cupcake beanie hair. I’m bummed I left my cupcake beanie in the car by the time we took a picture. It was actually on a whim that I had already left the hotel but then came back that we ran into each other. We’re cupcake friends in the blogsphere but we always seemed to miss each other every year in person. Can you believe she just had a baby?? She’s as beautiful inside as she is outside. Love her. ♥

Results will be posted on Eat:Drink:Play’s website on Tuesday. I will update with winners!

Everything was delicious! But you know how I know it was a success? My friend walked out with frosting on her arm. It had been there so long that it had crusted over. LOL

Wanna see who I voted for? I think I only gave out one or two 5/5 rating. –> CLICK HERE

A special shout out and THANK YOU to Rolling Stones Restaurant and Bar for letting us sneak in for Happy Hour at the last minute. After that 40 cupcake sugar rush, my belly needed the salt!

The double slider was to-die-for! (Not pictured b/c I ate it TOO fast!) And I could eat those garlic and parsley fries with spicy ketchup everyday!

[Insider spoiler: Dan mentioned to me that he's not sure if there will be an LA Cupcake Challenge 2013. Super sad face. I suggest that all my IHC minions bombard his facebook page with sad faces. Ssshhhhh. You didn't hear it from me.]

I could really go for a few more of those buffalo chicken wing cupcakes by [Desi]gn Cakes. How perfect would that cupcake be for today? I might have to see if I can recreate their recipe from memory. Until then… Here’s a recipe from Stephanie of Cupcake Project for Buffalo Chicken Wing Cupcakes for your Superbowl party.

Happy Superbowl to all my cupcake minions.

We’re a house divided. But that makes it more fun.

GOOOOOOO PATS!!

Peanut Butter Pie for Mikey

August 12, 2011 at 8:59 PM | Posted in blog event, non-cupcake, random | Comments Off

As a blogger, the internet has made the world much smaller even though the miles span the globe. I have met so many amazing inspiring people that touch me in different ways. People that have introduced me to food, laughter, stories and their loved ones. People that have let me in their home albeit through my computer but I am flattered every time. I have no doubts we’ll be seeing webcams in 3D soon and I’ll be sporting those ugly glasses someday.

But I digress.

I did not know Jennifer that well. We’ve had a few twitter conversations (all relating to cupcakes. Go figure!) But when I heard that she had lost her soulmate my heart hurt for her. I immediately thought of my own husband. Just the thought made me tear up. I knew I had to do something. But what?

I didn’t have to look far. Her blog had the answer. Bake a peanut butter pie for Mikey. (You can find the recipe on her blog.) And “… share it with someone you love. Then hug them like there’s no tomorrow because today is the only guarantee we can count on.”

Jennifer’s words were wise. I did exactly what she said.

I kissed my husband.
I hugged my nieces.
I laughed with my parents. (My Father-in-Law tells the best stories!)
I shared pie with my brother, brother-in-law and sister-in-law.

I thought I was doing something for Jennifer and Mikey but I realized that night, surrounded by all the people that I love, that she’s the one that gave me the gift. The gift of quality time.

Thank you Jennifer.
Rest in peace Mikey.

You are loved. —> There is no greatest gift in this world. ♥♥♥

Click (here) to see all the Peanut Butter Pies for Mikey. It’s inspiring.

Happy Belated Angel Food {Cup}Cake Day!

October 11, 2009 at 9:46 PM | Posted in blog event, cupcakes | 27 Comments
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Yesterday was National Angel Food Cake Day so I baked up some angel food “cup”cakes to celebrate! Don’t you love holidays dedicated to random foods? I do! But of course I’m a self-proclaimed Miss Procrastinator and posted a day late. Oops. My bad. But I couldn’t help it! The cupcakes were calling me and my tummy wasn’t willing to wait an hour+ for me to wash the dishes, take the pictures, upload the pictures, write the blog post before I can eat the dang cupcake ya know?

That’s the thing about blogging. I don’t have a crew of 20 people behind the scenes helping me. All the components of my blog come from me, myself and I. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining but procrastination is bound to happen. C’est la vie.

But better late than never right?

So let me tell you about the cupcake that made me procrastinate.

I’ve never made angel food cake from scratch. I usually buy those cute little pre-made shortcakes in the 3-pack at the grocery store whenever I want a strawberry shortcake. But I got it into my head to bake an angel food cake from scratch and went off searching the googleverse for a tried and true recipe. When I found a recipe for Lemon Angel Food Cake from Maria of Two Peas and a Pod, I knew I’d have to try it. Even though my fellow blogger and friend, Maria didn’t make her angel food cupcakes with any frosting, my personal opinion is that it’s not a cupcake without frosting. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! (No disrespect, Maria!) So obviously the next step was figuring out frosting options.

I don’t know about you but when I think of lemon, I automatically think strawberry. Lemon and strawberry are like Batman and Robin, Bonnie and Clyde, Abbott and Costello… they just go together. Then all the sudden it hit me! Strawberry = pink. Pink = breast cancer awareness. Bada bing! 2for! I’d dedicate this cupcake to my friend Jen of Beantown Baker‘s Power of Pink Challenge! You can read more information about it >> here. Support breast cancer awareness. Join the pink challenge fun today!

So there you have it. Cupcakes. It’s what’s for dinner (and breakfast and lunch)…


Lemon Angel Food Cupcakes with Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Recipe adapted from Cupcakes by Martha Stewart and Two Peas and a Pod

Print this recipe

Makes 12 cupcakes (I got 14 cupcakes)

INGREDIENTS

For lemon angel food cupcakes
3/4 cup superfine sugar, divided*
1/2 cup sifted cake flour
5 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used lemon emulsion instead)
zest of one lemon (I used about 1 tbsp)

For strawberry swiss meringue buttercream (SMBC)
1-1/2 cups (8 ounces) fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled (I used 8 big strawberries)
4 large egg whites
1-1/4 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

* I used my coffee bean grinder and pulsed granulated sugar for about 10-15 seconds.

INSTRUCTIONS

To make cupcakes—
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners.

In a small bowl, sift together cake flour and 1/4 cup superfine sugar. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat egg whites until foamy, then add in cream of tartar and salt. Gradually add in the remaining 1/2 cup of superfine sugar while the mixer is on high speed, beating the egg whites to soft peaks. Add in the vanilla and lemon zest. Fold in flour mixture in 2-3 additions. Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full (almost to the top).


Bake for 16-18 minutes, until golden brown. The tops will spring back when lightly touched. Let cool completely before frosting.

To make strawberry SMBC—
Puree strawberries in a food processor and set aside.

Combine egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until the mixture is warm to the touch and sugar is dissolved (the mixture should feel smooth when rubbed between your fingers.) In a stand mixer fitted with whisk, mix on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form about 10 minutes.

Switch to medium-low speed and add butter a few tablespoons at a time. Mix well after each addition. After all the butter has been added scrape down the bowl and switch to paddle attachment. (I’m a lazy baker and just continued with my whisk attachment instead of switching to paddle.)

Continue beating on low speed until buttercream becomes smooth. Don’t worry if the buttercream starts to look curdled. Just keep beating until it comes together. (It’s like magic!) Add strawberry puree and beat until combined.

To assemble cupcakes—
Using a Magic Tip 7ST (or favorite big star tip) pipe the buttercream in a rosette on each cupcake.

ENJOY!

Husband rating: A+
He raved about how light and fluffy the angel food cake was and really thought the creamy (not heavy) SMBC went well with the “cake”.

Wifey rating: A+
Ditto hubs. I love that there was a good strong lemon flavor from using the lemon emulsion (you could use a lemon extract too) and lemon zest that complimented the strawberry SMBC so well. I heart swiss meringue buttercream. Yum!

Other rating: A+
My little brother couldn’t get enough of this cupcake and asked if he could take 4 more back to his dorm to share. I wonder if he actually did “share” them though. HA!

Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes

September 20, 2009 at 10:21 PM | Posted in blog event, cupcakes | 36 Comments
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I have a really terrible memory. Ask anyone that knows me. I’m a post-it rockstar. I have to write everything down or I will forget. It’s just a fact of my life. I don’t fight it. I just embrace color code it.

So it shouldn’t surprise you that I have no idea how Marilla from Cupcake Rehab and I met. I think it was via Cupcake Hero and Laurie of Quirky Cupcake? Or was it our mutual love of Anne of Green Gables? *scratching head* But when I read on her blog that it was her 2 year blog birthday there was no question, I had to celebrate with her! It has nothing to do with the fabulous prizes she’s giving away either. No sirree bob. It’s all in the name of cupcakes and friendship. *wink*

After perusing her blog for more time than I care to admit, I knew I’d be making Orange Creamsicle Cupcake as soon as I saw it. It’s been on my to-do list for a long time and this was the perfect occasion to go for the twofer. You all know how much I love twofers right? Well I do.

Pssst… Marilla, click the cupcake image below. There’s a little ode to your blog there for you. Hope it makes you giggle. Happy happy birthday Cupcake Rehab! and many many more…

PS- Don’t forget to vote for your favorite Cupcake Hero entry on the side menu bar by tomorrow (September 21st) at 11:59pm EST! Every vote counts!


Recipe adapted from Cupcakes by Martha Stewart and Dulcedo

Makes about 12 cupcakes (I got about 15 cupcakes)

INGREDIENTS

For orange-vanilla cupcakes
2 cups AP flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp orange zest + 1/4 cup fresh orange juice (1 orange)
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp (I used 1/4 cup+2 tbsp of Citrus Olive Oil)
1 cup sugar
2 vanilla beans, scraped (I used 2 tbsp vanilla bean paste)
2 large eggs

* Check out this great link ~> for substituting olive oil for butter in your baking. Special thanks to Temecula Olive Oil Company for sending me citrus olive oil to try!

For orange buttercream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
1/8 cup orange juice (preferably fresh)

For marshmallow cream frosting
1-7oz jar of marshmallow cream (I used marshmallow fluff)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature

INSTRUCTIONS

To make orange-vanilla cupcakes—
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line cupcake pan with liners.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In another bowl (I used Pyrex measuring cup instead b/c it’s easier to pour), combine the heavy cream, vanilla extract and orange juice. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, fitted with a flat beater, cream the butter, sugar, vanilla bean seeds and zest until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time until well combined. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with heavy cream mixture in 2 additions, ending with the flour mixture.

Fill cupcake liners about 1/2-2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

To make orange buttercream—
In the stand mixer, fitted with flat beater, beat the butter at medium-high speed until creamy. Add half of the powdered sugar, both extracts and the orange juice. Stir to combine. Gradually add the remaining sugar until the frosting reaches your desired consistency.

To make marshmallow cream frosting—
In a large bowl, whisk the marshmallow cream and butter until smooth. Cover with plastic and chill until firm about 15-30 minutes.

CB’s Tip: Sorry for the lack of pictures this time. My camera battery barely had enough juice for 1 picture. Please check out Dulcedo’s blog for a really great explanation and picture on double frosting swirls. (Scroll to the bottom)

ENJOY!

Husband rating: A/A+
Even though he’s not a big citrus in desserts fan, he raved about the “cake” and the frosting. “Tastes just like a creamsicle!” Duh Husband. HA HA

Wifey rating: A/A+
I LOVE how the cupcake came out taste-wise. I think the citrus olive oil really brought out the citrus flavor in the cupcake. And olive oil makes it healthy right? But I am kinda bummed that my frosting didn’t come out as vibrant as I wanted. You can barely see the double swirls. *sad face* Next time I will pump up the orange food gel and instead of piping the marshmallow cream with the orange buttercream, I plan to fill the cupcake with the marshmallow cream since the marshmallow cream didn’t hold up to piping very well.

Other: A/A+
T said all his coworkers raved about how much it tasted like a Orange Creamsicle. He told me that he didn’t even get one himself b/c by the time he got up front to get one they were all gone! Poor deprived husband. HA HA!

Hello Mama Kitty Cupcakes

May 31, 2009 at 9:23 AM | Posted in blog event, cupcakes | 14 Comments
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I’m on a roll. Two blog posts back to back! I’m impressed with myself! Aren’t you?

Blogging for Babies is hosted by my friend, Holly of Phe/mom/enon. (I absolutely adore her blog name!) I already thought she was a phenomenonal person and blogger but after reading about her son, Cole’s story, I was immediately overcome with emotion. I knew that whatever small part I could play in participating in her food event, I would.

Cole’s story was a little “too” close to home for me.

I was born 2 months premature. I weighed a little more than 4lbs. I prefer to say that I was actually lucky to weigh that much. I really don’t know too much about my NICU days b/c my parents don’t like to talk about it. I think it brings up too many sad memories for them. But every now and then my mom will tell me little snippets and even 30 years later, I see the crystal tears well up in her eyes.

It must be an incredibly overwhelming time for a parent. I can’t even imagine. I guess more than anything I just wanted to take the time to tell my friend, Holly, that there is life after pre-mature birth. A full and active life with the help of conscious proactive parents like her.

I am wishing her and Cole all the best for years to come. ♥

I decided to use a cat as an inspiration for my mom. Not sure why. Just felt like my mom has that mother cat mentality. Of course it had to be the cutest cat I know, Hello Kitty! The mini cupcake has 3 red bows that represent me and my 2 brothers.

You can find the chocolate cupcake recipe here.
You can find how-to Hello Kitty instructions here.

Happy Sunday readers.

“You only live once. Make sure it’s enough.”
~The Most Interesting Man in the World, Dos Equis

Dippity Doo Dots Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

May 30, 2009 at 11:36 PM | Posted in blog event, cupcakes | 27 Comments
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Le sigh…

I had high hopes for this one.

But alas it didn’t come out quite as I planned in my head. Don’t you hate when that happens…?

I confess I was “this” close to scrapping the draft that I started writing more than a week ago when Melissa (twitter@petalsntwigs) gave me the FABULOUS idea of using Dippin’ Dots for the 2nd annual Ice Cream+Cupcakes event hosted by Steph of Cupcake Project and Tina and Bethany of Scoopalicous.

For those not familiar with Dippin’ Dots. Let me explain. Dippin’ Dots are tiny beads of ice cream, yogurt, sherbet and flavored ice. They come in variety of flavors. I used the banana split one although I really wanted the bubble gum but it wasn’t available. {sad face} The fact that they remind me of sprinkles makes them 10x cuter. I’m a sucker for sprinkles.

But leave it to me to enter on the absolute LAST DAY of the event with no time to improvise or do-overs. Ugh! I am so bad at deadlines. I think I need a 12 step program. Or maybe a book? The 7 Habits Of Consistently Ahead Of Schedule People.

Why did you publish it then, Clara? <– you ask?

Well… I guess for 2 reasons.

(1) Ice Cream+Cupcake is one of my FAVORITE events to participate in every year. Steph is a good friend of mine (at least I like to think so, right Steph?) and I love supporting my friends. Also as mentioned above I didn’t exactly have much time to left to support said friend with another trial. CB=bad friend.

(2) I love Bakerella but she’s TOO perfect! Don’t get me wrong. She’s the awesome-est chick ever (Nothing but love for you, Angie!) but I feel so inadequate next to her that sometimes I wouldn’t mind knowing that she has flops like me. So I figured some of my readers wouldn’t mind seeing that I am FAR from perfect too.

Ok enough stalling. Here’s my ice cream cone cupcake. Melted mess and all.

No! Wait!! Before you scroll down to pictures. I just wanna say… Man those little ice cream beads melt fast! It certainly wasn’t the operator’s fault. But licking melted ice cream off your hand and arms is the best part of eating an ice cream cone IMO. Am I right?

Just nod your head yes. That’s a good reader.


Recipe adapted from Cupcakes Galore by Gail Wagman & Betty Crocker

Makes about 12 cupcake cones

INGREDIENTS

For chocolate cupcake
1-1/4 cup AP flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk (I used half-and-half)

For vanilla buttercream
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temp
7 cups powder sugar, sifted
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

[NOTES: Buttercream recipe makes a good amount. You could probably half recipe if you don't plan to use alot of frosting per ice cream cupcake cone but I'm a frosting addict so...]

12 ice cream cones
Dippin’ Dots, garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

To make ice cream cone cupcakes—
Preheat oven to 350F.

Sift AP flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, fitted with a flat beater, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each addition. Add vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk in 2 additions, ending with the flour mixture. Mix until flour just incorporated into batter.

Option 1: Line cupcake pan with liners. Fill liners about 1/2 full. Place ice cream cone upside down on batter in each cup.

Option 2: Stand cones upright in cupcake pan. Fill cone about 2/3 full.

Bake cupcakes for about 20-25 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire cooling rack.

To make frosting—
Beat butter until creamy, scrape bowl. Add 7 cups of powdered sugar, milk and vanilla, beat until combined. Add more powdered sugar until you get to the consistency you want (but not too stiff so that its hard to pipe/spread). You can add more milk for a thinner consistency too.

To assemble cupcakes—
Generously frost cupcake with vanilla buttercream with an offset spatula. Garnish with ice cream dipping dots.

ENJOY!

Husband rating: A
He thought the ice cream cone cupcake was darn cute and preferred the “fill the cone with batter” method more than the upside down method b/c you get cupcake with every bite of cone.

Wifey rating: A
I thought these turned out SO cute but I would have preferred if the dipping dots had retained their bead shape to resemble sprinkles for longer. These cupcakes you really have to make and eat right away! I agree with Hubs that I liked the fill method better b/c you get more cupcake per cone ratio but the upside down cone method made it easier to frost and didn’t make the cone as soggy over time. Soggy cone=no bueno. Thanks for tip, A! Maybe next time I might do a combo of both methods. Fill the cone with batter a little bit before turning it upside?

Cupcake Pop Throwdown

March 27, 2009 at 10:19 PM | Posted in blog event, cupcakes | 1 Comment

Do you accept the challenge?
Click HERE for more deets!

Booo-tiful Halloween Cupcake Roundup

November 7, 2008 at 1:19 PM | Posted in blog event, cupcakes | 10 Comments
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Wow.

Seriously you guys. I am speechless. Can you believe we got 70 entries!??

I think I am gonna go ahead and call our first (but hopefully not last) Booo-tiful Halloween Cupcake Contest a success!

I want to thank everyone that entered esp our international entries. Unfortunately they aren’t eligible for prizes but they wanted to enter anyways. How awesome is that? I also want to thank our sponsor, Gary Fallowes, inventor of the Beater Blade, for donating a beater blade as one of the prizes. Gary rocks!

It was hard to choose 2 favorites but after changing my mind a bazillion times, I finally made my decision. I chose the 2 cupcakes that made me want to go straight to the kitchen and see if *I* could recreate them after seeing the picture.


Green Monsters by Kelly
I love that she used various candies to create all different monsters that seem to each have their own personality. Goes to show that you don’t have to be a master decorator to have a creative cupcake. Also what a fun project for kids right?


Floating Ghosts by Michelle
I think what I love most about this cupcake is that they look like they are floating above the cupcake as ghosts typically do and all it took was a toothpick to create the illusion. Also the little red bow on the “girl ghost” is just too adorable. I am a sucker for adorable.

You can see Cassie’s favorite picks on her blog along with the poll to choose the winner. Give her a little time to get it up (No rioting!! HAHA) but she should have it up soon.

Without further ado. Go check out the roundup! (After the cut.)

I challenge you to only choose 2 favorites. Its harder than you think!

Continue Reading Booo-tiful Halloween Cupcake Roundup…

Cupcake Question of the Day

October 31, 2008 at 7:01 AM | Posted in blog event, Cupcake Question of the Day, cupcakes | 13 Comments

This morning, I got an email…

Dear Cupcake Lovers,

It’s your chance to convert Grub Street from cupmudgeonism. Convince us why cupcakes are so fantastic by emailing your argument to grubstreet@nymag.com or leaving a comment on the blog for a chance to win a much coveted Magnolia Bakery t-shirt and bragging rights. But hurry, deadline is this evening!

Good luck!
Courtney

I assume it was a mass email to other cupcake bloggers b/c of the way it was addressed. Looks like cupcakes are under attack again! Why must I defend my cupcake love? Make cupcakes not war! HAHA. But I had to defend my honor right? So I decided to email her back with a little haiku.

Cake, sprinkles, frosting
Fits in the palm of your hand
Need I say much more?

So I’ll post the same question to my readers.

What would you say to a cupcake hater that asked you why you love cupcakes?

Think about it. Maybe you’ll win a tshirt.

Happy Halloween cupcake lovers (and haters)!

PS. I’ll be back later with my little friend, Nutella. Muhahaha…

Power of Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

October 26, 2008 at 8:38 PM | Posted in blog event, cupcakes | 15 Comments
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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I am sure you could probably tell by the “pink” confections popping up all over the blogosphere lately. I know I am seeing alot of “pink” and “pumpkin” in my GR. Actually I have a permanent 1/2 can of pumpkin puree in my frig these days. Gotta love that holiday baking. But it was about time for me to jump on the “pink” bandwagon and take a pumpkin break.

What better reason to bake than for a cure right? RIGHT!

My fellow foodie friend, Jen, is hosting the Power of Pink Challenge. I remember when she told me about it, I put up her logo on my side bar that day. I knew I would be participating come heck or high water. Her mom and aunts had breast cancer so breast cancer awareness is an important cause in her family. Thankfully I do not know anyone close to me that has/had breast cancer but I do have a few degrees of separation that have had breast cancer like in Jen’s case. I bet you do too. It doesn’t just affect one person. It affects women, husbands, mothers, sisters, brothers, children. It affects everyone.

In honor of Jen’s pink challenge I made a pink ribbon cupcake iron-on rhinestone to encourage everyone to bake for the cure.

RULES:
If you would like to win my cupcake rhinestone all you have to do is…

(1) Enter Jen’s Power of Pink Challenge by October 31st
(2) Post about it per her blog instructions
(3) Leave me a comment with the link to your post

I will confirm all entries by leaving a comment on your blog. Then you will be entered into a random drawing. It’s that simple!

Speaking of breast cancer awareness…

Have you given your breast a self-exam today?
Have you scheduled an appointment for a mammogram?

Don’t blush about the above tata talk. This is your life. No time to be a prude.

For more information on breast cancer, please visit: Susan G Komen for the Cure


(Recipe from Confections of a Foodie Bride | photos from me!)

Makes about 22-24 cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

For cupcakes
1/2 cup water + 3/4 cup pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
White cake mix
3 egg whites
2 Tbsp vegetable oil

For lemon buttercream
3 cups + 3 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Red food color (I used Wilton rose pink gel)

pink sprinkles

INSTRUCTIONS

To make cupcakes—
Preheat oven 350F. Prepare cupcake pan with liners.

In a stand mixer, add the cake mix, egg whites, vegetable oil, water and pink lemonade concentrate. Mix on low for about 30 seconds and then increase to medium speed for 90 seconds (the batter will still be a bit lumpy; take care not to overmix so you don’t end up with dry cupcakes).

Fill the cupcake liners 1/2-2/3 full. Bake at 350 for about 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick registers “done” in the center cupcake. Cool completely on a baking rack before frosting cupcakes.

To make buttercream—
Add the butter, confectioner’s sugar, salt and lemon juice to the stand mixer and mix on low using the paddle attachment until combined.

Add pink food coloring and mix until frosting is uniformly pink.

To assemble cupcakes—
Frost cupcakes using a Magic Tip 7ST star tip (my new favorite!) and garnish with pink sprinkles.

ENJOY!

Husband rating: A
He was kinda skeptical b/c he’s not usually a pink lemonade fan but he really liked this cupcake. He said its not as tart as the drink. Its more like a sweet lemonade cupcake.

Wifey rating: A
I love pink lemonade and this cupcake was awesome. And that frosting… FABULOUS. I am already making plans to make this a scratch recipe so stay tuned…

Other rating: A
My brother liked it and he’s not usually a dessert person so I know it was good.

Booo-tiful Halloween Cupcake Contest

October 21, 2008 at 12:18 AM | Posted in blog event, cupcakes | 20 Comments

♪ Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble. ♪♫

Have you all seen the cute… er… scary Halloween cupcakes popping up lately?


(image credit: One Pretty Thing)

I have.

… and I want more.

It’s exactly 10 days before Halloween and that’s why one of my favorite cupcakers, Cassie from How To Eat A Cupcake and I are co-hosting a trick-or-treat inspired event. So… Dust off your ghost and goblin sprinkles, channel your inner decorating skills and bake up some Halloween cupcakes. Its that simple!

Rules:
(1) Feel free to enter as many times as you want.
(2) Sorry, only those who live within the US eligible to win prizes.
(3) Please make sure you have a valid email address so we can contact you if you win.

To participate:
Please email iheartcuppycakes{at}gmail{dot}com and howtoeatacupcake{at}yahoo{dot}com with the following info: (One or both of us will leave a confirmation comment on your entry. If you do not get a comment within 48 hours, please email again.)

(1) Name
(2) Your blog name and URL
(3) Link to your Halloween cupcake entry
(4) Picture of your cupcakery (250 width is preferred) or permission to use a picture from your blog

** Feel free to use our Halloween Cupcake Contest logo on your blog **

Deadline: November 6th @ 12midnight EST

Halloween prize package includes: (We reserve the right to add more prizes if we find anything else prize-worthy. Figured all cup-testants wouldn’t mind.)

Halloween sprinkles, cupcake liners+cupcake toppers, decorative ribbon spool and a Beater Blade (Kitchen Aid tilt head, bowl lift or Cuisinart models available, KA mixer not included.)

Cassie and I will each choose 2 favorites. Favorites will be based on creative Halloween decorating and flavor combinations. The winner will be chosen by blogosphere vote via a poll on Cassie’s blog November 7-8th.

I’ll leave you now with a Halloween haiku to get those creative juices flowing.

Bring on the cupcakes
Create, bake and be scary.
We will be waitiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing…

Cupcakes for Change

September 26, 2008 at 7:06 AM | Posted in blog event, cupcakes | 24 Comments
Tags: ,

I try to keep it light and fun on my cupcake blog. When you think of cupcakes, you *should* think whimsical, no? For the most part my non-cupcake recipes and life’s other randomness are on my food blog but now that I find politics and cupcakes colliding, its hard to avoid the oncoming headlights.

This election is one of the biggest world changing events that will happen in our lifetime. We are living history, readers! The American people are in the middle of financial turmoil and foreign policy chaos and its getting worse not better. Both Republicans and Democrats can agree on that. Heck the price of butter (among other groceries) has dramatically increased (we all know how much butter I use! Yikes!). Its definitely time for a change.

The only way that change happens is if the people make it happen. I am not here to tell you who to vote for. There are plenty of blogs, news media, family, friends etc that will give you their opinion. Become informed. Wade through the hype. … and make your decision come election day.

So regardless of your political affiliation, make your voice heard. Capeesh?


(image credit: Get out the vote via Aiga)

Why so serious, CB? Its just cupcakes.

Actually its not “just” cupcakes anymore. Cupcakes have become a platform for individuality and expression. Some will even legally protest if you challenge that individuality. Think about it. Each cupcake can be decorated to show your support of various things. Think cupcake toppers, fondant decor, sprinkles, transfers, piping etc…

Case in point.

My most recent order are cupcakes in honor of the presidential debate tonight. The only request was that it be decorated in support of Barack Obama. After a little research, (with help from my favorite foodie, Nikki, aka google masta) I found some assorted cupcake toppers and an article that listed Obama’s favorite dessert as pumpkin pie. *light bulb*

See what I mean?

Its just that easy to make your voice heard without saying a word.

All you need is a cupcake.


Continue Reading Cupcakes for Change…

Does My Blog Look Good In This?

September 17, 2008 at 11:19 AM | Posted in blog event, cupcakes | 33 Comments
Tags:

Have any of you heard of this event?

DMBLGIT is a monthly food photography event that I’ve seen pop up in some of my favorite blogs. It makes me envious every time I seen the winner badge prominently displayed. Other than its a purdy color (I love bright colors!) it means something amazing in the food photography blogosphere. I’ve only submitted once, didn’t win, felt inadequate and vowed to start “staging” my food better so I can be up to snuff with the talented food pornographers out there.

I don’t have a fancy DSLR camera and my photoshop skills are nil but this month, fellow TWD baker, Shari of Whisk: a food blog (She’s totally one of my idols!), is judging. Maybe if I throw some $$$$ her way I’ll get some extra points. (I emailed her my proposition but haven’t gotten a reply yet. LOL)

The deal is you can only submit one picture that was posted in your blog in the month of August. I’ve narrowed it down to 2 of my favorites. Now I need my loyal readers to help me break the tie. Leave a comment and tell me why. (My poetry skills are off the hook today! I wasn’t even trying…)


1. “Hot” Chocolate Cupcakes
Votes: ||||/||||/||||/||||/||||/


2. Hankie Pankie Cupcakes
Votes: ||||/|

So get your vote on… and GO!

Why are you still reading? Don’t you realize how important this is? I need to pick a freaking picture. It’s due September 30th. I am running out of time. You’re not helping by continuing to read. sigh… Well I guess if you’re sticking around…

Knock Knock
Who’s there?
Updog.
Whats updog?
Not much. Just chillaxing…

BAHAHAHAHA!

::holding sides from laughter pains::

That was a good one huh?

Ok now go vote!

What is Autumn?

September 16, 2008 at 9:42 AM | Posted in blog event, cupcakes, random | 21 Comments

You may have already noticed the purdy little “Art You Eat” banner on my side menu bar but just in case… go take a peek and then come back.

::waiting patiently::

Is that a pear? I think its a pear right? No matter. Its still lovely on my side menu bar. Don’t you agree?

My newest banner promotes Art You Eat Hello Captain Obvious! which is the brain child of fellow TWD baker, Holly of Phe/mom/enon. I was so flattered when she invited me to participate but after I heard the theme as “August” I admit I got a little scurred.

Let me break it down for you.

I live in CA. I wear flip flops year ’round. My everyday any day outfit of choice is tank top with jeans (sometimes I’ll switch it up with capris, sweats or PJ pants though). Our season consists of Summer, Spring and slightly-chilly-what-are-long-johns?-more-like-fall Winters. Get me?

So I need some autumnal cupcake inspiration. Help?

When you think of Autumn… what comes to your mind?

After reading all the comments, it looks like I need to create a cinnamon, chai, apple cider, black velvet, clove, nutmeg, maple syrup, starbucks pumpkin spice latte, fig, sweet potato cupcake, right? It might be overkill but I’ll see what I can do. LOL. Thanks for comments everyone! xoxo, Clara

I scream cupcakes!

May 26, 2008 at 1:02 PM | Posted in blog event, cupcakes | 38 Comments
Tags: ,

♪ I scream
You scream
We all scream for…
ICE CREAM! cupcakes! ♪♫

Ever since I read about fellow cupcake-er, Cupcake Project and ice cream addicted, Scoopalicious cohosting an ice cream+cupcake event, I’ve been plotting brainstorming my lactose-inspired strategy. Its taken over my brain so much that I am even dreaming about it! Thankfully I keep a notepad on my nightstand just for situations like these. HAHA! Does it seem like you get your best ideas during a Rapid Eye Movement sleep state? or is it just me? LOL

I decided to make these for our Memorial day barbecue complex party (My apt complex gets together and throws a big pot luck pool party every year. Who says you need a house?) Its also a “sweet” way to combine me and my husband’s 2 confection obsessions – cupcakes AND ice cream – and share with our neighbors. Bet you can’t figure out which one is my addiction? ;)

I decided to make my favorite Ben & Jerry’s ice cream – triple caramel chunk – the inspiration for my ice cream cupcake. I am not a huge ice cream fan *gasp* but this is definitely the one I splurge on when I get the cream craving. Its caramel ice cream with a swirl of caramel & fudge covered caramel chunks. Trust me when I say its a triple threat of caramel goodness… and just in case that wasn’t enough caramel I added some caramel sauce on the top! Can you say… YUMMO! (Don’t hurt me, Nikki!)

Side note: I was recently invited to be part of the Blake Bakes writing team! I guess Blake likes cupcakes too! Be on the lookout for my first article. Hint? I am thinking chocolate and pb ice cream cupcakes or… maybe not? You’ll have to wait and see. ::evil laugh::

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!
Cupcakes and Love, xoxo

Choco-Caramel4 Fudge Ice Cream Cupcakes


(Recipe adapted from Cupcake Bakeshop & Crazy about Cupcakes | photos from me!)

Makes about 10 ice cream cupcakes (depending on the size of your waffle bowl)

INGREDIENTS

For chocolate cupcakes
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temp
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoons vanilla

For whipped cream
1-1/2 cups whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp granulated sugar

store bought caramel ice cream topping
Ben & Jerry’s triple caramel chunk ice cream
sprinkles
maraschino cherries
waffle bowls

INSTRUCTIONS

To make cupcakes—
Preheat oven to 375F degrees.

Beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.

Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a small sized bowl and whisk to combine. Measure out the milk and vanilla and stir to combine.

Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat to combine. Add about a half of the milk/vanilla and beat to combine. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.

Scoop batter into waffle bowls about 1/4 full. Turn oven down to 350 degrees and bake cupcakes for about 20-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Cool completely and chill in freezer while preparing whipped cream.

[NOTES: I didn't take into account that the waffle bowl would flatten out in the oven heat so if you want it to retain its shape better you can bake the waffle-cupcake in oven safe bowls but I personally think the flared out bowls are a fun "mistake"!]

To make whipped cream—
In mixer with whisk attachment, whip the cream, vanilla extract and sugar on high speed until thick.

To assemble cupcakes–
Take cupcakes out of freezer and scoop ice cream on top of the cupcake. Drizzle with caramel and pipe (or dollop) whipped cream with a 1M tip on top of ice cream. Garnish with sprinkles and cherry.


Click image to enlarge

Serve immediately.

ENJOY! :)

Husband rating: A+
He wasn’t sure what to make of the combo at first but after the first bite he was hooked and demanded requested a chocolate-peanut butter ice cream cupcake next! Way ahead of you, hubs…

Wifey rating: A+
Oh.my.god. I love the crunch from the waffle bowl and the choco-caramel-whipped cream goodness is a sinful combination! I will definitely be making these again!

Other rating: A+
All our neighbors came back for seconds (and thirds) and I had no more left after 10 minutes! I think it was a hit ;)

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