Thursday, September 30, 2010

Autumn Cupcakes

I just can't get enough of autumn...even though it really isn't here yet.  These cupcakes from Taste of Home are easy to make - roll out gumdrops and cut them with miniature leaf cookie cutters.  Bookmark these for your Thanksgiving feast!

Happy 50th Birthday to the Flintstones the Flintstones...the modern stoneage family.   September 30, 1960 - April 1, 1966

Yabba - Dabba - Doo!
The Flintstones
(Fred, Dino, Wilma, Pebbles, Bamm-Bamm,
Betty & Barney Rubble)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

National Coffee Day

Today is National Coffee Day....grab a cup of Java and a cupcake!

coffee cupcakes

National Coffee Day Coffee Trivia

■A recent study funded by Career Builder and Dunkin Donuts found nurses to be the profession drinking the most coffee.

■Physicians are the second highest coffee-consuming profession.

■40 percent of American workers say they are less productive without coffee

■Coffee used to be eaten, mixed with fat to form coffee balls. Yum.

■Coffee was discovered by an Ethiopian goat herder, who found that his goats became jumpy after eating coffee berries.

Cupcake Pencil Toppers

I have absolutely no idea what I would do with these...but I want to make them!  The pencil topper how-to tutorial is available from Ready, Set, Craft! 

This blog also features great cupcake photos and very creative tutorials for making and decorating cupcakes,,,especially the two-toned cupcake batter & icing.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cupcake Tissue Holders

Cupcake tissue holders...cupcake tissue boxes...whatever you call them, they are cute!  I want the pocket-sized one - perfect for my messenger bag!

pocket cupcake tissue holder

cupcake tissue box

cupcake tissue holder

Monday, September 27, 2010

Cross Stitch Cupcakes

I used to be a cross stitch fanatic, but it seems to not be very popular any more.  I came across these cross stitched cupcakes and now I am trying to remember where I stored all my supplies.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Cinnamon-Apple Cupcakes

Perfect recipe to start the first week of fall...the leaves are changing around Lake Tahoe and the house will smell great after baking these!

Cinnamon-Apple Cupcakes

1 3/4 cups sugar - divided
1/2 cup butter - softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 ounces cream cheese (softened)
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups finely chopped peeled Rome apples (about 2 large)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Beat 1 1/2 cups sugar, butter, vanilla, and cream cheese at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 4 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture, beating at low speed until blended.

Combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Combine 2 tablespoons cinnamon mixture and apples in a bowl, and stir apple mixture into batter.  Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.

Bake at 350° degrees for 15-18 minutes, checking every minute after 15 minutes.  Cool completely.  You can dust lightly with confectioner's sugar, top with chopped apples or frost with cream cheese frosting.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Cupcake Phone Cover (for HTC Eris)

My phone is the HTC Droid Eris (Verizon) and I love, love it.  IMHO it is way better than the iPhone but I am sure others would disagree.  Anyhoo...I ordered this phone cover from Let's Crystal It.  There are cupcake covers available for all the major brands of phones...get one and be cupcake-fabulous!


Friday, September 24, 2010

Project Food Blog Ends for Carpe Cupcakes!

So I got voted off the island...axed...shot down...sent down the river...bought the food blog farm.  You get the idea.  But it was fun and I got to make some blogging friends along the way. 

Good luck to the remaining contestants....I will be reading your entries & I can still vote for you!

Cupcake Cake

This cake came from one of our local grocery stores in Carson City, NV.  The cake lady says she sells them as fast as she can make them!  I took it to work and within 10 minutes it looked like a swarm of locusts had attacked...ER nurses don't turn down snacks.

Balloon Cupcake

How many balloons do you think it took to make this?  I found this picture on Cupcakes Take the Cake and I am going to try and make one.  It is from Cities Cupcake Boutique in Knoxville, TN.

Cities Cupcake Boutique
Knoxville, TN

Thursday, September 23, 2010

First Day of Fall

Today is officially the first day of fall.  The temperatures around Lake Tahoe this morning were mid-20s (north shore) to mid-30s (south shore).  Our first snowfall can't be far behind...I hope!

Voting for Project Food Blog Ends Today

Just a for Project Food Blog ends at 6 PM (PDT) today.  Vote for your favorite blogger!

Mehndi Cupcakes

A recent post featured my friend Liz and her cupcake bra at Burning Man.  Her husband Joe spent a lot of his time at Burning Man painting henna on various body parts (of other people).  His work was amazing!  I plan to ask him to design a henna cupcake for me. 

Check out this Mehndi stencil set from Fancy Flours.  They topped their cupcakes with a paisley-shaped cookie decorated with a Mehndi pattern.


Mehndi cupcake liners & paisley cookie

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cupcake Kitchen Timer

A few weeks ago I was baking cupcakes and watching the Kardashians (allegedly).  My oven may have malfunctioned or the cupcakes may have been overbaked because I had to see if Kourtney was going to leave Scott and go back to L.A. with Khloe.  But that is a discussion for another day.

Knowing when a cupcake is done is not always easy.  Every batter is different and every oven has its issues.  I usually bake cupcakes for 12 minutes and then check them every minute after that.  I don't use "the cupcake is done when you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean" method because this almost always guarantees you a dry hunk of cake. I like to take them out of the oven just before they are done because they continue to cook for a few minutes. 

This kitchen timer from Bright & Bold will make sure your cupcakes come out of the oven right on time!

Cupcake Kitchen Timer

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Avid Appetite Features Cupcakes & Dexter DVD

The Avid Appetite  is having a contest to win a Dexter Season 1 DVD...but you have to hurry because the giveaway ends on September 23rd.  Her blood spatter cupcakes are amazing! You can see them on her blog while you are entering the contest.

For those of you not familiar with the Showtime series - Dexter is a guy who works with the Miami Police Department and does bloodstain pattern (spatter) analysis at crime scenes.  He is also a serial killer who lives by a code to only kill those who deserve it.  He collects a microscopic sample of blood on a slide from each of his victims.  It is a great show and you will be addicted to it & you can watch previous episodes online from Showtime!

You will LOVE the absolutely brilliant Dexter cupcakes made by The Avid Appetite...and the author gives you the recipe and decorating how-tos!

Dexter cupcake photo by  The Avid Appetite
(used with permission)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Project Food Blog Voting Begins!

Voting is open for the first challenge of Project Food Blog 2010 - via the link on my contestant badge. BTW...clicking on my badge does not actually vote for me, it just takes you to the contestant page.  When you get to the voting page, click on any contestant's heart icon to vote for that blogger. Voting will close on September 23rd at 6 PM (PDT).

I posted my entry for the first challenge on Monday, September 13.  If you think my blog is worthy of a vote, I would appreciate your support.  Enjoy the competition!

Cupcake Coffee Cup Sleeves

I just love Etsy!  So many talented people out there selling their wares.  I was scrolling through my cupcake search like I always do when I noticed that there were 1,036 pages of cupcake-related items.  I always start on the first page and maybe make it through 20-30 pages before I quit.  What have I been missing by not making it to the end? Today I started on page 1,036 and scrolled towards Page 1...and found these on page 1017!

bynichole  via  Etsy

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ceramic Cupcake

This ceramic cupcake jar was a birthday gift from my friend Lily J...who shares my southern roots and occasionally finds herself passing through the cupcake universe.

Happy Birthday (to Kristi & me)

My friend Kristi and I share the same birthday...same day, different years. We are textbook perfect Virgos:  independent, analytical, organized, loyal, and driven to perfection (you really should see a Virgo-cleaned house).  I am not into astrology, but I do find it very interesting that the two of us possess most of the Virgo characteristics. 

This week's recipe is for us!

via  Flickr

Birthday Cupcakes

1 package (18.5 ounces) plain butter recipe cake mix
1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese - room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup buttermilk
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin tins with liners.

Place the cake mix, cream cheese, sugar, applesauce, water, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend on low speed with an electric mixer for 30 seconds, until the ingredients are well blended, then stop the machine and scrape down the sides. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed.  Fill cupcake liners 1/2 full.

Bake the cupcakes 15-18 minutes, checking frequently after 12 minutes. Cool completely. Frost with your favorite vanilla or chocolate buttercream.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cake Pops (the new book)

Just got back from Borders with the new Cake Pops book in my bag.  What a treat!  Angie Dudley, the creator of has hit a home run with this book - there are more than 40 edible projects.  There are recipes, decorating ideas, tips for making the pops, tips for using food other than cake to make the pops, and lots of detailed photos and how-tos. The photos will be a huge help to me.

I am struggling a bit with the spiral-bound book.  My pages are sticking on the metal spiral and when I turn the pages I have to be very careful not to tear them.  It is like the old composition books we used to use in high school, except the cover is hard...but I love the pink color of the metal spiral (pink is my signature color).  The spiral does allow the book to lie flat, which is very helpful when you are trying to read and have baking utensils in your hands (or hands covered with batter). 

Buy this book as soon as possible & start having fun!

P.S.  Get the book from Amazon for $11.97 with free shipping.  I paid $19.95 at Borders. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Cupcake Party Nails

This video shows you how to paint cupcake nails - great for a special event.  My nails are not very long so I just painted on a smaller cupcake and used small dots! 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cupcakes at Burning Man

Burning Man 2010 is history and the planning has already started for 2011.  I did not attend the Black Rock Desert festival this year but many of my friends and co-workers did...and the photos were spectacular!

What happens at Burning Man stays at Burning Man...well, sometimes.  My friend Liz honored me by creating a cupcake bra!  She found a poster that said "Carpe Diem" and stood in front of the "Diem" so that the message would be "Carpe Cupcakes."  Here are some pictures of her cupcake costume.  Thanks Liz & Joe!

cupcakes on the playa
(the scooter is electric - note the plug hanging off the back)

Carpe Cupcakes! 
(with attitude)

magnified cupcakes

cupcakes with friend

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cupcake Recipe Cards

My recipe box holds 4 x 6 inch cards, so I chose these cupcake recipe cards because they would fit...but there are lots to choose from out there.  The first card is my fav! Zazzle has many cards that can be customized with your name or web site.  Use your favorite search engine to find just what you are looking for. 

$6.95 for 15 cards (4x6 in)

$1.25 each (4x6 in)

sweetharvey  via  Etsy
$15 for 10 cards (4x6 in)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Steampunk Cupcake Charms

Last week I saw a wedding cake show that featured a couple who wanted a Steampunk what about cupcakes?  I couldn't find any edible cupcakes decorated in Steampunk style, but I did find Steampunk cupcake charms!

What is Steampunk?  It is a sub-genre of science fiction that is usually set in the 19th century and has Victorian influences (when steam power was used). It also incorporates elements of current-day technology, such as computer keyboards, that have a 19th-century appearance...lots of brass and metal and clockwork gears.  The works of  H.G. Wells and Jules Verne illustrate these elements.  Some recent examples include The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comic books, Dr. Who, The Wild Wild West, The Time Machine. 

Steampunk example

Monday, September 13, 2010

Project Food Blog - Challenge # 1

Sometimes the journey is the destination…

My blog is a journey through the cupcake universe. My initial goal was to carefully design a series of spontaneous cupcake adventures and write about them, but the project morphed into much more than that. I don’t blog to acquire a certain number of readers or to be linked to other sites. I blog about cupcakes because I love cupcakes. I am flattered and encouraged when readers take the time to comment on what I write, because my blog is about learning, sharing and interacting with others.

Participating in challenges to choose the next food blog star…put me in coach! No professional culinary training. Never been published. But what I lack in culinary arts and writing skills, I make up for with passion for my topic. I want what I write to resemble a conversation between two friends having coffee in the kitchen. I have outstanding cupcake days and not so successful ones, and I will share them all.  Project Food Blog is a little bit like American Idol or Survivor for food bloggers and my goal is to not get voted off the island the very first week. None of the challenges involves cupcakes, but I will hang on as long as I can!

So how did I decide to blog about cupcakes? A friend of mine makes fabulous wedding cakes but hates to make cupcakes. She got an order for wedding cupcakes and didn’t want to make them so she called me. I made 200 cupcakes, decorated them with fresh roses and displayed them on a metal plant stand that looked like a tree. I started getting calls for recipes and tips for displaying cupcakes. The rest may or may not be cupcake history.

A major inspiration for me as a food blogger is that I love how food is connected to memories…holidays, special events, family celebrations. My mom’s carrot cake at Thanksgiving, my uncle’s mincemeat pie (yuck!) at Christmas, my grandmother’s biscuits every day of the week (made with lard but oh so good), my aunt’s chocolate cake with seven-minute frosting (birthdays), and our neighbor's canned Coca-Cola ham for Easter. No matter what the food is or how much we like or dislike it, we associate it with the people in our lives and special times we have shared. Every family should create a cookbook of their own recipes (the destination) and make notes about how those recipes became traditions (the journey)...and of course every family tradition should include cupcakes!

Carpe Cupcakes! ya’ll….

cupcake art by P Davis Designs
Payton Davis (my niece)

the first wedding cupcakes by
Carpe Cupcakes!

tie-dyed cupcake batter

giant birthday cupcake

gingerbread cupcakes

flowerpot cupcakes

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Project Food Blog Begins

I am a contestant in Project Food Blog 2010.  Click on the Foodbuzz link to learn more about the project, challenges, rules and prizes. You might even decide to join in the fun yourself!

There will be a series of challenges that I will be required to write about and you will be seeing those here in the coming weeks. Feel free to give me advice along the way. 

If you glance to the right you will see a link to my contestant profile. Voting begins on September 20th and I will post a link that explains the voting process.  It's a little bit like American Idol or Survivor for food bloggers and my goal is to not get voted off the island the very first week. None of the challenges involves cupcakes, but I will hang on as long as I can!

Wish me luck! 

Recipe of the Week - Sweet Potato Cupcakes

A few days ago one of my co-workers brought in a food magazine and there was a sweet potato cake on the cover...inspiration!  With the autumn cupcake season fast approaching, I decided to get an early start with this week's recipe.

Sweet Potato Cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 17.2-oz. can vacuum-packed sweet potatoes (unsweetened), mashed
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin pan with liners.

In medium bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt - set aside.

In large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy - about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition until combined. Add sweet potatoes and vanilla, beating until combined. Add flour mixture and beat until combined (batter will be thick).

Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake about 15-20 minutes checking frequently after 15 minutes.  Cool completely.

Frost with cream cheese frosting (and you know my recipe is the best) or just melt a marshmallow on top! 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Never Forget

September 11, 2001
8:46 AM (EDT)

Never forget those who lost their lives, the brave people
who gave their lives, and the heroes who responded.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Cupcake Skewers

Words cannot describe how beautiful these cupcake skewers are!  They are not cupcake pops...but real cupcakes on a stick (with a cute ribbon).  I love the bridesmaid's bouquet of cupcakes.

Thanks Pizzazzerie for your step-by-step instructions!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Pup Cakes

My friend Jane gave my dog Summit a present today...a Pup Cake!  It is a rawhide cupcake greeting card - totally edible!

pet accessories