Monday, July 18, 2011

Cupcake Necklaces

We have a shop in Incline Village called The Potlatch and it has an eclectic mix of clothing, dishes, jewelry, candles, picture frames, rugs, and all kinds of other goodness.  I went in there yesterday and found these Sweet Life necklaces ($8.99). The necklaces come attached to paper cupcakes with a recipe inside! 

 BTW....Sweet Life also makes bracelets. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Garden Party Cupcakes

These garden cupcakes are perfect for a summer party...and the recipe is an easy one from Duncan Hines (my favorite cake mix).  Follow the link under the photo for the recipe!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Yoga Cupcakes

My niece Payton is here visiting this week and we took a yoga class today....stretching and getting into poses and positions that the human body was not meant to be in.  A good time was had by all.  Maybe rubbing a cupcake on my sore legs will help.

from the Flickr  photostream of doreenseng 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cupcake Scarf (free pattern)

I know it's the middle of summer, but if you get started now, you will have a cute cupcake scarf by the time the first snowflakes fall.  The pattern for this scarf is available free from

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Martha Stewart Cupcake Punch

You can use this cupcake punch for many things, but I bought it to make cupcake confetti to scatter on a table at a birthday party.  I got mine at Michael's but it is also available at craft stores, Borders and Amazon.  If you are into scrapbooking, there is also a cupcake corner punch.

Martha Stewart cupcake punch

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cupcake Ear Buds

These cupcake earbuds will make music on your iPod (or whatever device you use) sound even better!

available from Amazon

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Giant Hostess Cupcake

This is really a cake...but it is a cake that is supposed to be a hostess cupcake.  Sweet! 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cupcake Costume

This is my halloween costume this year...except I must change the hat and the shoes!  It is available from many sources, but Amazon has the best price.

available from Amazon

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Lemon Curd-Filled Angel Food Cupcakes

The inspiration for this week's recipe comes from a giant lemon I found at Wal-Mart.  I don't usually buy Wal-Mart produce, but this lemon was I took it home.  I also have the same cupcake wrappers used in the photo. I love these wrappers, but I had to buy 2000 of them for a wedding cupcake display.  That was the minimum order so I now have a lifetime supply.

(original photo by Beth Dreiling Hontzas)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Last Space Shuttle Launch

Today is a little sad for me because I just watched the last space shuttle launch. I started thinking about all the launches I have seen.  On July 20, 1969 I watched the first moon landing while looking out the window at the moon and thinking "there are men walking around up there right now."  I was at a nursing conference in Nashville, TN when the first shuttle landed.  The person giving the lecture stopped and asked the audio-visual guy to switch to the broadcast of the first shuttle landing....amazing to watch the shuttle Columbia on a huge screen.  My heart was beating out of my chest as the shuttle touched down and the astronauts got out. 

Over the years, I have been fortunate to watch most of the shuttle launches and landings.  I was driving at the time of the shuttle Challenger disaster but was listening to the launch on the radio and remembering the knot in my stomach as the announcer's voice said "something is wrong."

I got to see the shuttle flying piggyback on a 747 as it returned to Florida after a landing at Edwards Air Force Base.  That was impressive. 

I was presenting my dissertation data at a conference in Orlando and was flying home very early in the morning.  I knew there would be a shuttle launch that morning so I got up at 3 am to be at the airport and past security before the launch.  I remember running to the large windows just in time to see the shuttle clear the trees.  It was a clear day so I watched until the booster rockets were released and fell to earth. I sat watching the shuttle Atlantis leave Kennedy Space Center for the last time ever, I was a little sad.  I don't know what NASA has in store for the future, but I feel privileged to have seen so much in my lifetime. 

A cupcake toast to the space shuttles!

Enterprise (test flights only), Columbia, Discovery, Challenger, Atlantis, Endeavor

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Balanced Diet

A t-shirt is worth a thousand words...

via Etsy

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cupcake Sandwiches

I have never been a big fan of sandwiches - just never thought of them as real food.  However, a cupcake sandwich is a whole 'nuther animal...give me a platter of these!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cupcake Treasures from World Market

World Market has an abundance of cupcake treasures!  I was there yesterday and bought cupcake tissue paper to put in a gift bag.  They also have cupcake baking kits, plates, napkins....and more. 

World Market cupcake kit

World Market cupcake napkins
$5.98 (32 napkins)

World Market cupcake purse gift bags
$11.97 (for 3)


Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy July 4th!

Celebrate our Independence Day with a cupcake!

from Chica and Jo

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Red, White & Blue Cupcakes

Millions of Americans will pack picnic baskets tomorrow to celebrate the Fourth of July Independence Day and many of those baskets will contain cupcakes.  This week's recipe is a variation of the one I used for tie-dyed cupcakes....just with red, white and blue colors.

Red, White & Blue Cupcakes

Make a French Vanilla cupcake mix according to package directions.  Divide the batter into three bowls.  Color one bowl red, one bowl blue and leave the other bowl plain.  Prepare your cupcake pan with liners.  Add one tablespoon of batter to each liner...experiment with batter placement!  Bake as directed on the mix and cool completely.

Frost the cupcakes with your favorite vanilla buttercream or use premade Fluffy White frosting.  For toppers, I made red and blue gum paste stars, but you can also use patriotic sprinkles or July 4th cupcake picks!

from the photostream of TidyMom
via Flickr

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Crow Cupcakes

I was outside watering flowers today and there were two crows in a tree just behind me.  Our crows here at Lake Tahoe are HUGE...and I think these guys were up to something.  I never could figure out what they were doing, but there was an unusual amount of crowing and flying back and forth between trees. Not being blessed with extensive experience in crow behavoir, I will have to wait and see what happens next. 

via Flickr

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door
"Tis some visitor, " I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door.
Only this, and nothing more."

The Raven
Edgar Allan Poe (1845)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Carpe Cupcakes! (the second anniversary)

Two years ago I started this blog to explore the cupcake universe.  It has been a lot of fun and I learn something new every day.  As the third year begins....thanks to all who are regular readers and to those who discover the cupcake universe on the way to somewhere else.  Thank you!

the first wedding cupcake I made
(and still my favorite)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Scallion Cheddar Cheese Savory Cupcakes

I rarely feature savory cupcakes, but this picture from Eatomanic made me want to do it.  I think it was something about the two green scallions sticking out on top. 


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Macarons (Macaroons) are not the new Cupcake!

On my recent visit to Paris I have to admit that I was smitten with the French macaron (macaroon)...but at 1 Euro each I didn't eat as I would have liked.  That said, this article from NPR has my cupcake wrappers in a bunch.  Macarons are NOT the new cupcake!

Critics believe that cupcakes are a trendy dessert, but they have been a part of my life for a very long time (more than a half century for those doing the math) so I wouldn't exactly describe them as a passing fad.  Read the article for yourself and see what you think. 

Move Over, Cupcake: Make Way For The Macaroon

by Neda Ulaby


photo by Kyle Samperton from the NPR article

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cupcake Gift Bag

I found this Happy Birthday cupcake gift bag at World Market.  I put a little something in it today for my friend Solange...happy birthday!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Cream-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

In the current market of the "gourmet cupcake" it was nice to find an easy, delicious cupcake any chocolate lover will appreciate.  All you need is a Betty Crocker chocolate cupcake mix, a tub of Betty Crocker Fluffy White Frosting (which I eat right out of the can for dessert sometimes) and some chocolate chips for garnish! 

Make the chocolate cupcakes as directed on the cake mix box.  Cut the end from a ziplock bag and drop in a medium-sized star piping tip.  Fill the bag with frosting and insert into the cooled cupcakes.  Lift up as you squeeze in the filling.  Then swirl frosting on top of the cupcakes and sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cupcake Island

I just love the name of this cupcake bakery.  Their site has photos, recipes and a coloring book page you can download.  I may never get to visit there, but I would like to live on Cupcake Island! 

Cupcake Island
1314 S. 119th St.
Omaha, NE 68144

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Recipe Contest

Betty Crocker is sponsoring a gluten-free baking contest!  Get creative using any gluten-free Betty Crocker or Bisquick mix and you could win $5000.  The deadline is June 30, 2011 so you will have to hurry....get busy and send in your most delicious gluten-free cupcake recipe! 

Betty Crocker Gluten-Free
Lemon Cupcakes

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Cupcakes

Today is the first full day of summer...celebrate with some summer cupcakes!

(click on Bakerella's link to learn how to make these
hamburger cupcakes with sugar cookie "fries")

corn on the cob cupcakes

ice cream cupcakes

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Remembering Clarence Clemons

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a friend asked me to go to a concert at Mississippi State University.  The featured act was a guy named Bruce Springsteen.  There were only 200 people there....and he eventually attracted more people at his concerts. 

Clarence Clemons, the big guy who played saxophone with Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, died on June 18th.  Thanks for the great music!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Balloon Cupcakes

These balloon cupcakes would look great for any event....the possibilities are endless.  You can make them casual or elegant depending on the frosting and ribbon. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Pink Meringue Cupcakes

I have been experimenting with meringue decorations lately and my experiments are the inspiration for this week's recipe.  These cupcakes actually contain no cake....they are made from meringue!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Flight of the Cupcake

I came across a blog today called Flight of the Cupcake and thought the photos were great.  My favorite was the "citrus trio" on the second page....I am going to make those! 


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Last Day in Paris

The Internet problems have been solved but it wasn't an easy fix.  No matter...I am back online.  Here are some photos from the last day in Paris.  I still cannot believe that I could not find a cupcake anywhere.  When I did a Google search for cupcakes in Paris, there were only a few results, so I guess cupcakes are an untapped market in the city of lights.

Speaking of lights, the last night in Paris we took a boat ride down the Seine and got to see the Eiffel Tower at night.  Spectacular is not the word!  Every hour on the hour, the Eiffel Tower twinkles with lights for about five minutes and that sight alone was worth the trip.

I really enjoyed soaking in the history of London & Paris, but did not realize the extent of the damage done during WWII.  London was more affected by German bombs than Paris due to a deal France made with Hitler (a "no bombing" clause in the contract I guess) but the impact of the destruction of history really hit me hard.  It is a shame to have lost so many artifacts and architecture.  Not to mention the history lost with the people who could have shared so much by passing down their family history and experiences.

Here are a few photos from the last day....Buttercream had a great vacation! 

Buttercream at the Arc de Triomphe

an exact replica of the flame of
the Statue of Liberty

(I didn't even go in)

(didn't go in Cartier either)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Flag Day Cupcakes

Today is Flag Day! 

It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on June 14, 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.  In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day.  In August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress.

star spangled ice cream sandwiches from Disney Family Fun
 served in a cupcake wrapper

garnish your cupcakes with these
"flag" berries

Monday, June 13, 2011

Internet Problems

I got home around midnight last find that my DSL was out.   Working with AT&T today to get it fixed.  I need to post my photos from Paris! 

P.S.  Never did find a single cupcake, but I did find some muffins.  Here is an algebraic equation for you:       

 No frosting + cake-ish batter = not a cupcake

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Flying Home from Paris!

I am somewhere over the Atlantic when you read back soon!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 6: No Cupcakes in Paris

Well....I have been in Paris for three days and have yet to see a single cupcake.  Plenty of other desserts, but no cupcakes.  I have looked in every pastry shop window.  Muffins yes.  Cupcakes no.  I am sure they are here somewhere but I cannot find them. 

We had a nice dinner tonight and a boat ride along the Seine. Met a girl from Mississippi and we know some of the same people....what are the odds of that!  Got to see the Eiffel Tower twinkling and it was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen.  A fabulous memory.  The trip ends tomorrow morning with an 8 AM ride to the airport.  Goodbye Paris! 

Crossing my fingers that I will find a cupcake on the way to the airport.  Will post pictures when I get home...including a video of the twinkling Eiffel Tower lights.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 5: An American Cupcake in Paris

Our first full day in Paris and the bottom fell out while we were walking from the Basilica of the Sacre Couer on Montmarte (a hill 130 meters above the city). We were wet and cold....and very happy that we had not worn the new boots we bought earlier in the day.
Are there any cupcakes in Paris? The only cupcake I have come across so far is Buttercream, but I have discovered macaroons. I am thinking about changing the name of this blog to Carpe Macaroons! I paid 4.50 Euros for three of these amazing cookies today and they were worth every bite.

I feel a little bit like Charlie looking for the Golden Ticket in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I hope to find the golden cupcake soon.

Buttercream visits Notre Dame Cathedral

Buttercream looks across the city of Paris

Buttercream at the Basilica of the Sacre Coeur

The steps to the
Basilia of the Sacre Couer at Montmarte
(looking down was easier than walking up)


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day 4: Goodbye London & Hello Paris

Traveling to Paris today by train (Eurostar).  Will write when I get reliable Internet access.  Not to worry....cupcakes are coming.  Here are some highlights from London:

Jack the Ripper Tour

Big Ben & the House of Parliament

Strutton Fried Chicken

Westminster AbbeyWest Door
(where Kate entered for the royal wedding)

Tower of London

St. Peter ad Vincula
(church at the Tower of London where Ann Boleyn is buried)
(Catherine Howard - wife #5 is buried there too)