Monday, May 31, 2010

Fondant Daisies & BumbleBees

I am making 4 dozen cupcakes for a friend's party this yesterday I made daisies and bumblebees to put on top of the cupcakes.  It was my first time to make the bumblebees, but I watched videos and followed instructions exactly.  They were very easy to make and turned out great.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Recipe of the Week - Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes

Week 46

I went to see Sex and the City 2 last night and it was Fab-u-Luss! There was a scene where Charlotte was baking cupcakes and wearing a super cute cupcake apron. Of course, the scene that put cupcake bakeries on the map was from the HBO series - Carrie eating a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery.

To celebrate the opening weekend of the movie and vanilla is the recipe from Magnolia Bakery!

Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups Self-Rising flour
1 1/4 All-Purpose flour
1 cup butter - softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs - room temperature
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare cupcake pans with liners.  Combine flours and set aside.

Cream butter and add sugar gradually.  Beat until fluffy (about 3 minutes).  Add eggs, one at a time.  Add dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with milk and vanilla.  Do not overbeat.  Fill liners 3/4 full.  Bake for 20 minutes - checking frequently after 15 minutes. Cool completely.

Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Buttercream

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons milk

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Hummingbirds Return!

It has been cold and snowy here at Lake Tahoe, but this morning we awakened to sunshine and more warmth than we have had in a long time. Just after 8 am I looked out the living room window and saw a hummingbird hovering and looking back in. I quickly went to the closet and got out the feeders and filled them up!

Welcome back Hummingbirds!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Cupcake Rings

I bought these rings at a cupcake bakery in Vancouver. They had a bin of cupcake-related trinkets and I picked out all the rings in the basket (sadly, there were only three).

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Frosting Shots

What are frosting shots?  They are sample-sized dollops of tasty frosting. Frosting shots have been around for years, but many cupcake bakeries are now offering them on their regular menu.  Even if you don't see them on the menu, just ask.  You may have to pay a small fee ($0.75 to $1.50) but it will be worth it.  Some people are so hooked on the frosting that they don't even buy a cupcake!

I don't know who invented the frosting shot....but thank you! 

(article & photo)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

People (and squirrels) eating Cupcakes!

I love to see people of all ages (and one squirrel) enjoying a cupcake!

Eating Cupcakes Really Fast (a video)

I, Puzzled  (self portrait)
via Flickr

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Facebook Cupcakes

After the Twitter post yesterday, I thought I needed to give Facebook equal time.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Twitter Cupcakes

Whether or not you are tweeter....enjoy some Twitter cupcakes! 

Retro Bakery in Las Vegas

Montreal Twestival 2009

Follow Carpe Cupcakes! on Twitter @Carpe Cupcakes

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Recipe of the Week - Coca Cola Cupcakes

Week 45

I was watching old TV commercials this week and Coke has some of the best...."I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony".... the polar bears .... Mean Joe Green giving the little boy his football jersey.  These cupcakes salute all those great commercials!

Coca Cola Cupcakes
1 cup Coca-Cola
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat butter at low speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and beat at low speed until blended.  Combine flour, cocoa, and soda. Add to butter mixture alternately with cola mixture; begin and end with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended.

Stir in marshmallows. Pour batter into prepared cupcake liners and bake for 15-20 minutes. Cool completely.  Frost with your favorite chocolate frosting (I like to add pecans).

Saturday, May 22, 2010

International Food Bloggers Conference

I registered for the International Food Bloggers Conference today.  It is hosted by Foodista and is being held in Seattle August 27-29, 2010.  I am looking forward to interacting with food bloggers from all over the world.  Here is a descripton of the event from the IFBC site: 

The International Food Bloggers Conference is the premier event for food bloggers, chefs, journalists, editors, publishers, food-lovers and more! The conference, co-hosted by and Zephyr Adventures, will explore the intersection of food, writing, and technology. This year, the weekend event will be held at Theo Chocolate, the first and only all organic and direct trade chocolate factory in the United States. James Oseland, editor-in-chief of the magazine Saveur, will give a keynote speech. Returning premier sponsor Sur la Table is set to provide each attendee with another spectacular goody bag of kitchen tools and gadgets. To top it off, there will be lots of fabulous food and wine!

Leading bloggers, authors, editors, publishers, and technologists will speak on a variety of topics, including:

■The Art of Recipe Writing

■Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Building Traffic and Social Media

■Food Writing with All Five Senses

■Law & Ethics in Blogging

■Pitch to Publish

■Digital Food Photography

Friday, May 21, 2010

Happy 30th Birthday Pacman!

There was a time when I spent every spare minute playing Pacman and even searched the sofa cushions for change to enter a Pacman tournament.   Happy 30th Birthday to one of the best games ever!

(Google is celebrating this milestone today with a free game of Pacman played around their logo)

Ice Cream & Cupcakes

There were two birthdays in my family yesterday.  I do not live close enough to bake them some cupcakes so I am sending ice cream & cupcakes via the blog.  Happy Birthday Payton & Emma Nell.....

the traditional ice cream & cupcake

chocolate cupcake with chocolate ice cream

a stack of goodness!
from Bakerella via Flickr

Ice Cream cupcakes from Haagen-Dazs

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mail-Order Cupcakes

More and more bakeries are starting to offer online ordering of cupcakes.  I frequently order regular cakes online and maybe I have just been lucky, but I have not had a bad cake.  Cupcakes, however, are a whole 'nuther animal.  Cupcakes dry out quickly due to their small size and once a cupcake reaches that stage, the most delicious frosting in the world cannot save it. 

So I started thinking....has anyone ever done a taste test of cupcakes ordered online?  Why yes, they have!

Which Mail-Order Cupcakes Take The Cake?  is a very informative article from the Wall Street Journal (February 18, 2010).  Abigail Pesta (the author) says that "to find out if cupcakes could really deliver on their snack potential by overnight mail, we tested a variety of services, from local specialty shops to national chains. We ordered up more than 30 cupcakes in all, requesting that they be delivered on the date of our choice." 

This video is from the article and you will need to have Flash Player installed to view it (there is a 15 second ad for Toyota at the beginning). 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cupcake Sprinkles

Sprinkles don't always have to be on top of the cupcake!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cupcake Coloring Book

You are never too old to grab some crayons and color a cupcake!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Recipe of the Week - Mocha Spice Cupcakes

Week 44

Last week when I was traveling, I substituted a cupcake bakery review instead of a recipe.  Let's get back on track this week with a dee-lishuss recipe!  This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart's Wedding Cakes.

Mocha Spice Cupcakes

1 stick butter - room temperature
3/8 cup Dutch-process cocoa
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 Tablespoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups cake flour - sifted
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Place cupcake liners in muffin tin.

Cream the butter until light in color.  Add the brown sugar and eggs.  Beat until fluffy (about 2 minutes).  Add the vanilla, cocoa, spices, soda and salt.  Mix well.

Add 1/3 of the flour then half the sour cream.  Repeat with the remaining flour and sour cream.  Pour the coffee into the batter and mix until smooth.

Bake for 15-18 minutes and rotate pans halfway through baking.  Cool completely.

Frost with your favorite chocolate buttercream or Seven-Minute Frosting.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Cricut Cake

I went to Michael's yesterday and saw the Cricut Cake (cake and cupcake decorating machine).  Cricut started as a scrapbooking tool but on May 1, 2010 the cake decorator was launched.  It cuts gum paste into any number, font, shape, flower, border, scroll you can imagine.  Every cartridge has about 30+ different patterns.  It is $399 so I probably won't be getting one soon, but if you have a bakery or cake decorating business you should get the Cricut Cake

Visit the site & watch the videos (I watched them all). 

I want one of these!


Basic Cake Cartridge

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cupcakes are the New Black

I just found this t-shirt from Loyal Army and can only hope they will one day offer it in adult sizes!

available from the Loyal Army
"Small Fries" collection for $16.00

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lady Bug Cupcakes

With all the snow we've had at Lake Tahoe in the past few weeks, I was beginning to think that spring (and maybe summer) had passed us by.  But yesterday I saw a lady bug so I am taking that as a sign that the seasons will not forget us.  Here are some lady bug cupcakes to keep the spirit of spring alive!

franjmc  via  Flickr


Giant Lady Bug Cupcake
(I just love that grass around the bottom!)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Traveling Cupcake Summary

I have traveled a lot of miles this past week (ship, plane, car, subway, city bus) and I took a lot of cupcake photos.....

Buttercream preparing to sail on the Oosterdam

Buttercream & friends at breakfast
in the Crow's Nest of the Oosterdam

One of the amazing works of art
outside the Oosterdam's Greenhouse Spa

Cupcakes at Blenz Coffee (Vancouver)

Cupcakes at the Granville Island Market (Vancouver)

Buttercream was almost a racoon snack!
 Grouse Mountain (Vancouver)

Cupcake minis from Market of Choice (Eugene)

Cupcake mini halved....looks just like a smiley-face with lipstick

Cupcake magnet from the University of Oregon bookstore

Aquarium cupcakes from Market of Choice (Eugene)

Spring Flower cupcakes from Market of Choice (Eugene)