Saturday, July 31, 2010

Carpe Cupcakes! Celebrates One-Year Anniversary

Carpe Cupcakes!
the cupcake universe

Well...I really blew it.  Today's post was supposed to celebrate this blog's one-year anniversary.  I thought I started writing on July 31, 2009 and was surprised to find that my first post was actually July 4, 2009.  I missed my own one-year anniversary celebration.

When I started the blog, I had no idea what I was doing or where this adventure would lead.  I have learned so much about blogging, the online community, and how difficult it can be to stay committed to posting every day.  I hope to keep learning and I hope all of you will continue to hang in there with me as we travel through the cupcake universe.

Even though I am almost a month is a recap of my favorites from the first year of Carpe Cupcakes!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Paramedic Cupcakes

My niece & her husband are both paramedics and work for a private contractor in Afghanistan.  They spent several years in Baghdad and are now based in Kabul.  They work 90 days on and 45 days off...not a bad schedule if you are able to handle the dangerous conditions in Afghanistan.

They are heading home to Mississippi today and I want to wish them a safe flight....and it is a long one! 

 Welcome home A & C!

anatomical hearts cupcakes

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Following New Cupcake Blogs

Several months ago I joined Technorati to search for new blogs and new blog posts about cupcakes.  I found these and am really liking them.  If you have a favorite blog to share, please post it in the comments!


I Heart Cupcakes

Sugarbloom Cupcakes

Disco Cupcakes

Grin and Bake It

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Electric Cupcake Makers

Electric cupcake makers??  I didn't know these existed until about an hour ago, but I plan to order one and see what happens.  I think I am going to get one with a recessed top so the cupcakes will have a more rounded appearance, but I think the flat-topped cupcakes would look nice with a decorated circle of fondant.
I will report back later!

available from for $20.99

Available for $39.99 (pounds)
in the UK from Lakeland Kitchenware 

Mini cupcake maker
available from Boscov's for $19.99

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Celebrating the 41st Comic-Con with Cupcakes

When I was growing up, I loved to read anything, especially comic books.  My favorites were Richie Rich, The Fantastic Four, Little Dot, Archie, (a huge fan of) Batman...and as a teenager I switched to the romantic comics.  I used to wait not-so-patiently for the next edition to make it to my small Mississippi town.  I would read and re-read them until their covers fell off.

This past week (July 22-25), Comic-Con was a huge success as always and these cupcakes reminded me of the comic book characters I loved.

Richie Rich



Comic-Con International is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular art forms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture (Comic-Con Mission Statement).  

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cupcake Lunchboxes

I used to love taking a lunch box to school, but I didn't like getting up early to pack the lunch so my lunch box days were short-lived.  I ended up using  my lunch box collection for other things.  I wish a cupcake lunch box had been one of them.  

Hostess Cupcake Lunchbox
$10.00 from   

Personalized Cupcake Lunchbox
$34.00 from Princess Patch

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Recipe of the Week - Buttermilk Spice Cupcakes

Week 54

I use buttermilk in almost all my cupcake recipes, so I was happy to find this recipe.  Make your favorite cream cheese frosting to go with these cupcakes! 

Buttermilk Spice Cupcakes

2 cups brown sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 large eggs, separated
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of salt
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your liners in cupcake pans. Cream the brown sugar and butter. With the mixer running, add the oil in a steady stream. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt into a medium-size mixing bowl. Alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the batter, mixing well. In another large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then fold them into the cake batter. Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake for 15-18 minutes - check frequently after 12 minutes.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Diamond Cupcake Necklace

This sterling silver cupcake necklace is frosted with diamonds (.20 ct t.w).  It is available from Ross-Simons for $131.25.    I want one!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Crochet a Cupcake Hat!

I can't wait to make this hat and wear it snowboarding on opening day.  I found the video tutorial on You Tube but the video and printed pattern are available from The Art of Crochet: Teresa.

Now all we need is some snow!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Favorite Cupcake Stands

I made 125 cupcakes today for a friend's birthday.  They will be using my favorite cupcake stand....the large leaf stand from Boss Manufacturing.  It was designed as a plant stand but makes a perfect cupcake stand.

Boss Manufacturing has several unique new cupcake stands.  I have ordered three stands from them and their customer service is excellent.  Here are my favorites!

Large tree stand

holds 36 cupcakes

holds 24 cupcakes

holds 2 dozen cupcakes

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cupcake Cookies

Just thinking about making some cupcake cookies today....

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes

My best friend from high school came to Lake Tahoe yesterday on her way to Yosemite.  I took her and her family to supper at the Lone Eagle Grille at the Hyatt in Incline Village last night and of course I had to make the most southern of all desserts....the red velvet cupcake.  This is the cake that southern bakers make for Easter, Christmas and weddings - those most special occasions.  We had not seen each other in several years and it was her first trip out west, so it was only fitting that the cake be red velvet.   And I don't even have to mention the cream cheese icing (see numerous blog posts on this subject). with any best friend, we picked up exactly where we left off and it seemed like we had never been apart.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Carpe Cupcakes!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Cupcake Bird Houses

I was watching hummingbirds eat from glass feeders on my deck this morning and started thinking that they would probably enjoy the food more if they could eat from a cupcake feeder.  I grabbed my computer and sure enough....cupcake bird feeders do exist! These feeders won't hold hummingbird nectar but the other species of birds will enjoy them.  

The only problem is to figure out how to keep the chipmunks out...

Ceramic birdhouses from The Birdhouse Chick

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Recipe of the Week - Macaroni & Cheese Cupcakes

Week 53

As many of you know, I am not a fan of savory cupcakes but I am making an exception today. I happen to like mac & cheese, so how could I not like a mac & cheese cupcake!

This recipe comes from Giada DeLaurentis - an episode called Giada's Kidz Kitchen on the Food Network.  

Macaroni & Cheese Cupcakes

·    Vegetable cooking spray
·   2 cups dried bread crumbs - divided
·   1 tablespoon olive oil - plus extra for drizzling
·   8 ounces ground turkey or chicken - preferably dark meat
·   1/2 teaspoon kosher salt - plus extra for seasoning
·   1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper - plus extra for seasoning
·   8 ounces small pasta, such as penne, shells, or elbows
·   2 cups grated Parmesan
·   1 1/2 cups grated white Cheddar
·   1 cup cherry tomatoes - quartered
·   1 pound asparagus - cut into 3/4-inch pieces & blanched

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray 24 muffin or cupcake pans with vegetable cooking spray. Using one cup of the bread crumbs, coat the inside of each muffin cup with bread crumbs, shaking off any excess.
In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey or chicken, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, Cook, stirring frequently, until cooked through, about 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside and cover to keep warm.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and add to a large bowl. Stir in the cooked turkey and the cheeses. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the prepared pasta mixture into the cupcake molds, filling evenly to about 2/3 full. Arrange a few pieces of tomato and asparagus into each cup. Top with a thin layer of the remaining bread crumbs and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and carefully unmold with a spoon.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Cupcake Article in The Guardian

There is an interesting cupcake article today in The Guardian (a British daily newspaper). 

In the article Ian Jack writes "the cupcake's triumph has to be accounted for in other ways. The first is its appearance. Few other foodstuffs, always excepting the Frenchified (and more expensive) fruit tart, have been confected to look so pretty (and with that word come others of the same kind – scrumptious, yummy). What it awakens is not so much childish tastes as childish imaginations – the perfect, comic-book cake. Then comes its commercial history. The cupcake – made in a cup or ramekin – made an appearance in a book of American recipes as long ago as 1828 and quickly became a staple of American home baking. In 1931, Irma S Rombauer accorded cupcakes an entire sub-section in her seminal The Joy of Cooking, but until 1996 they remained cakes that were made at home rather than bought in shops. In that year, the Magnolia Bakery in Greenwich Village opened and began to sell them as a homely comfort food, the kind mom used to make, rather as an expensive London restaurant might have sausage and mash on the menu. In America, they prompted a genuine nostalgia. A craze started and the media picked it up; an important moment came when Carrie Bradshaw ate a Magnolia cupcake in Sex and the City. And so the cupcake became at first chic and then wildly popular far beyond Manhattan. American cable channels now have two cupcake shows (Cupcake Wars and DC Cupcakes). At Rutgers University, Dr Kathe Newman is researching the proliferation of cupcake shops to demonstrate their usefulness as an accurate guide to urban gentrification and capital inflows into cities."

I just love it when cupcakes get media attention!

Friday, July 16, 2010

DC Cupcakes

TLC has a delicious new show premiering on July 16th called DC Cupcakes.  The two cupcake sisters, Sophie and Katherine, risked their life savings and traded successful careers in fashion and finance to open their own small business. They pursued their passion for baking and their lifelong dream of opening a bakery and their dream became reality.  They opened Georgetown Cupcake in 2008 and their web site has cupcake tips, photos, videos, how-tos, and recipes.  

I live on the opposite side of the country but I would love to drop in for a free cupcake today to celebrate the series premiere.  Follow them on Twitter & Facebook. 

DC Cupcakes
Fridays on TLC (10 pm ET/PT)  

Soft-Serve Swirl Cupcake

Love this cupcake from Wilton!  It looks just like the soft-serve ice cream cones I used to get at Dairy Queen when I was in high school.  Click the Wilton link to get the instructions to make this tasty treat.  

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cupcake Calendars from Zazzle

Even though we are halfway through 2010, these cupcake calendars from Zazzle are giving me lots of ideas for 2011.  Why not make a calendar of your best cupcake work to give friends and family? 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Giant Cupcake Liners

Check out these giant cupcake liners from a German company called Design3000.  They can be used as a bathtub, sandbox, planter....whatever you can think of!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Goodbye Captain Phil....

Tonight the Discovery Channel will be celebrating the life of Phil Harris, captain of the F/V Cornelia Marie, during a two-hour tribute to one of the most beloved stars of Deadliest Catch.  Phil had a massive stroke in his stateroom on board the Cornelia Marie on January 29, 2010 and passed away on February 9th. He was captain and co-owner of the Cornelia Marie for 18 years and a part of Deadliest Catch since the series premier in 2005.

Join the fans of Deadliest Catch...raise a cupcake & a Red Bull and have a goodbye toast.

Phil Harris will be missed.