Sunday, February 28, 2010

Recipe of the Week - Pina Colada Cupcakes with Pineapple Buttercream

Week 33

I had a delicious Pina Colada when I was in New Orleans last week....the inspiration for this week's recipe!

Pina Colada Cupcakes

1  moist yellow cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon rum extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple in juice (pureed in food processor)
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cups in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups. In large bowl, beat cake mix, oil, water, rum extract, the pineapple and eggs with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.

Bake 15-20 minutes (do not overbake).  Cool completely before frosting.

Pineapple Buttercream

2 cups Crisco
1 tsp. salt
8 cups confectioner's sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup pineapple juice

Mix pineapple juice, salt & vanilla.  Using a heavy-duty mixer, cream the Crisco until smooth.  Add the confectioner's sugar 1/3 cup at a time - alternate with the liquid.  When all ingredients have been added, turn mixer speed to high and beat for 4-5 minutes.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

USA vs. Canada - Men's Gold Medal Olympic Hockey

The USA will take on Canada at noon on Sunday (PST) for the Olympic hockey gold medal.  Their qualifying game earlier this week was probably the best hockey game I have ever bake some cupcakes and enjoy the game!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Cupcake Class at Williams Sonoma

Williams-Sonoma is offering a series of baking classes and I plan to attend the Cake & Cupcakes class in Reno on March 21st.  Williams-Sonoma has a nice selection of cake and frosting mixes and I hope they will be using these in the class so I can taste their products.  Check your local store for more information!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mam Papaul's Red Velvet Cupcake Mix

While in World Market yesterday I noticed they had Mam Papaul's Red Velvet Cake Mix.  Mam Papaul's has very popular ready-made items in the South and I have made the King Cake and Gumbo many times.  They have very tasty products.  I decided to buy the mix and make red velvet cupcakes. 

The mix comes with frosting mix included, but you need to add milk, butter and Crisco.  The frosting mix included in the box is the kind that you boil with milk and you know from previous posts that this is not my favorite.  I followed the frosting instructions on the box...and then added 8 ounces of cream cheese and 3 cups of confectioner's sugar.  That made all the difference!  I garnished the cupcakes with grated chocolate and a wedge of Chipotle Chocolate for a bit of spicy to go with the sweet.

The red velvet cupcakes were moist and delicious and I have to say that it is probably the best red velvet cake I have had in a long time.  Beautiful deep red color too. I will definitely buy this mix again.

P.S.  Mam Papaul's also offers Black Velvet and Lemon Velvet cake mixes.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cupcake Decorating Set

Wilton has a cupcake decorating set that includes the tips you will use most often and includes an instruction booklet.  With a little practice your cupcakes will look like they came from a bakery....but much better because they are homemade! 

The cupcake decorating set includes a large star tip 1M (rosettes, stars, drop flowers), small & medium star tips (zigzags, pull-out stars), round tips (outlines, dots, messages), and Bismark tip 230, plus eight disposable decorating bags.  I use the 1M tip every single time I decorate cupcakes.  If I could only have one tip, the 1M would be it.

Cupcake Decorating Set on Foodista

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook Contest

I received an email this week inviting me to submit recipes for the Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook contest.   I am entering the recipe for Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese frosting that I used for the Iron Cupcake San Francisco Challenge last September and one other recipe to be chosen within the next few days....I just can't decide which one!  If my recipes are chosen, they will be published in the cookbook and I will receive a free copy of the cookbook. 

Try my recipes, then click on the links to the right.  Click on the number of stars for your rating....and thank you very much!  

Cupcake in a Mug

Cupcake in a Mug
(Microwave Recipe)

5 Tablespoons Super Moist chocolate cake mix
3 Tablespoons sparkling water
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Yogurt
Nonstick Cooking Spray
1 - 8 oz. mug or coffee cup (microwave safe)

In a small mixing bowl, combine most of the water, the cake mix, and the yogurt. Mix well with a fork until all lumps are gone and the mixture is smooth. The consistency should be watery like a creamy soup. Once mixed, add the remaining water and mix again.

Prepare the mug or coffee cup by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray.  Place the cup into the microwave and cook for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Microwave ovens vary, so watch the cupcake closely. The top will begin to look like a sponge. The final cupcake should be firm with the edges easily separating from the inside of the cup. A toothpick should come out clean when inserted in the center. 

Cool completely & frost with your favorite ready-to-use frosting.

Cupcakes in a Coffee Cup

I was recently giving the history of the cupcake to a friend and came across photos of cupcakes baked and served in coffee cups or espresso cups (mini cupcakes).  In the 1800s, small cakes were baked in cups...hence the name!  Serving cupcakes in cups makes a great presentation after a special meal.

P.S.  Make sure your coffee cups or mugs are oven safe!

A twist:  cupcakes not baked in a coffee cup...but
cupcakes shaped like coffee cups

Cupcakes baked in paper coffee cups

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Recipe of the Week - Bread Pudding Cupcakes

Week 32

I am still winding down from a week eating Southern recipes!


4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
2 ½ cups whole milk
2 ½ cups heavy cream
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
¾ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons Amaretto (optional)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
8 cups cubed bread, in ½-inch pieces (I like to use Panettone from World Market)
½ cup dried fruit
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Put the dried fruit in a small saucepan with the Amaretto.  Warm and allow the fruit to absorb the liqueur.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and egg yolk. Whisk in the milk, cream, ¾ cup sugar, the nutmeg, cinnamon, whisky, vanilla, and salt. Add the bread cubes and press them into the custard - allow to soak for at least 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter 24 muffin tins (if you use liners, use sturdy aluminum ones). Pour the bread mixture into the prepared tins. Drizzle the butter over the top, and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.

Bake until the top is light golden brown and the pudding begins to rise around edges of the tins, 45 to 50 minutes. The center will still be quite soft. Set aside on a wire rack and let cool for at least 45 minutes before serving. Serve warm, at room tem­perature - top with Amaretto sauce if desired.

1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup whole milk
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons Amaretto

In a large saucepan, combine the milks, brown sugar, and butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the sauce is warm.

In a small dish, combine the cornstarch and Amaretto. Stir to remove any lumps, and then put the mixture into the saucepan. Cook and stir the sauce until it boils. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly, then remove from the heat. Serve warm.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mardi Gras Recap

Home again!  After a crazy week of traveling I am home and ready to get back to the cupcake universe.  As I explained yesterday, the cupcake bakeries I had hoped to visit were closed until after Ash Wednesday so no cupcakes for me.  There were some king cakes made into muffin-sized morsels but they weren't really cupcakes.  I ate beignets and pretended they were cupcakes.

The theme for the Orpheus parade this year was "Delectable Delights" and one float featured a chef with cupcakes on the float.  It is very hard to get night photos to turn out well due to the enormous number of lights on the floats but I tried.  I did capture a cupcake on one float.

Next year I want to make my own beads with cupcakes on them....maybe my own Carpe Cupcake! doubloons!

Chef on one of the Orpheus parade floats

Cupcake - Orpheus parade float

The Saints' Super Bowl win was
huge - lots of Saints costumes

Store window on Royal Street

Me and one of the many Elvises on Bourbon Street

Friday, February 19, 2010

Murphy's Law & Carpe Cupcakes!

Murphy came to visit and did not leave!  I returned from New Orleans yesterday to find that my Android phone had frozen, rendering it useless for sending emails, text messages....and the ability to post on this blog!  Mardi Gras was a lot of fun, but I forgot that many businesses close until after Ash Wednesday, so my big plans to visit cupcake bakeries did not work out. was a very fun trip and I will tell you all about it! 

I am flying home from Mississippi today and will catch you up on all the details of this week as soon as I get to my computer tonight.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Mardi Gras!

It's Fat Tuesday....Mardi Gras Day....the last day of celebration before Lent begins at midnight tonight. 

(I will be celebrating in New Orleans today & back Thursday!)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Recipe of the Week - King Cake Cupcakes

Week 31

There are  many ways to make King Cakes and most of them involve making a yeast bread base which has to rise several times.  I make it easy by using a cinnamon cake mix.

(Easy) King Cake Cupcakes

1 cinnamon cake mix
Plastic baby or similar trinkets (make sure they are food-safe)
Buttercream or cream cheese icing
Purple, green & gold sprinkles

Make cupcakes with cake mix according to directions.  Place a baby (or other figurine) in each cupcake or on top of the cupcakes.  If you are having a party, you will want to have just one hidden figurine.

Frost the cupcakes & add the colored sprinkles.  Serve on a platter with Mardi Gras beads or confetti sprinkled around. 

History of the King Cake

I am driving to Mardi Gras as soon as I publish this post.  It is Lundi Gras (the Monday before Fat Tuesday) and New Orleans should be in full celebration.  I plan to eat a whole King Cake as soon as I get there!

photos from the Cupcake Project blog

The King Cake is a cinnamon roll-like cake gets its name from the biblical kings that came to honor Christ on Epiphany (The twelfth day after Christmas). The king cake season is from (January 6) Epiphany Day or the Twelfth Night to Mardi Gras Day.The famous King's Cake was brought to the New Orleans area by colonist from France and Spain. New Orleans bakeries feature their own style in the variety of recipes... The most traditional is twisted or braided bread. This cake is then topped with sugary icing and decorated purple, green, and gold sugar, icing, and sprinkles. The purple, green, and gold are the traditional carnival colors. Purple meaning Justice, Green for Faith, and Gold standing for Power; these colors were chosen by the Grand Duke Alexis Alexandrovitch Romanoff of Russia during a visit to New Orleans in 1872.

King Cakes in Southern Louisiana date back to the eighteenth century, but in more recent history some New Orleans bakeries have begun to add their own touches to the traditional king cakes by adding a variety of flavored fillings including; apple, blueberry, chocolate, lemon, pineapple, raspberry, bavarian cream, cherry, cream cheese, pecan praline or strawberry. Throughout history, each cake was said to have a small trinket, or "baby" hidden inside. A tradition from the Roman Empire placed a little bean inside; in 1870 this bean was replaced by a porcelain figurine and more recently a plastic "baby." It is thought that this bean, or figurine was to represent Baby Jesus. And tradition declares whoever "gets the baby" or finds the figurine in their piece of king cake has the obligation to bring the next cake, or host the next carnival celebration.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Enjoy today with family, friends and loved ones.  Eat cupcakes together!

(the recipe of the week will be posted tomorrow)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

2010 Olympic Winter Games - Vancouver

Have a cupcake and celebrate the opening of the
2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver!

The five Olympic rings were designed in 1913, adopted in 1914 and debuted at the Games at Antwerp in 1920. The symbol of the Olympic Games is composed of five interlocking rings:  blue, yellow, black, green, and red on a white field. These five rings represent the five continents of the world: Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cupcake Luggage Tags

I found these cupcake luggage tags at Target today!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

(more) Mardi Gras Cupcakes

Starting to pack for Mardi GrasCan't wait to get there and check out some cupcake bakeries.  It's a dirty job but somebody has to do it....


paulahennig via Flickr


Laissez les bons temps rouler

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Valentine's Day Cupcake Collars

February 14th is approaching and I am getting ready to make cupcakes.  You know I love Cupcake Collars and the heart template is a free download from Chica and Jo.  The other templates can be purchased and downloaded (.pdf) from Cupcake Collars.

Give a Valentine cupcake to someone special!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Crocheted Cupcakes

I have been searching for a crocheted cupcake are some of my favorites.

crocheted cupcake rug from All Things Cupcake

Cupcake billiards from KTBdesigns