Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Festivus or whatever it is you celebrate I hope it was filled with fun, love, family , good food and of course - CUPCAKES!!!!

I have been baking - just haven't had a moment to blog - I will be back soon I promise!!!

Happy Holidays!!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

More recipe updates!!

I am slowly but surely adding the recipes to my early posts that I didn't originally include. I have been asked by a few readers about some and thank you for patiently waiting!

Here are the two I have updated

Just click on the links and they will take you directly to the post so you don't have to search for them!

AND stay tuned I will be making a new cupcake recipe next week for Thanksgiving
Sweet Potato cupcakes with toasted marshmallow frosting. YUM!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with cinnamon cream cheese filling

Pumpkin pie...pumpkin cake...pumpkin bread...pumpkin muffins... pumpkin soup...pumpkin cupcakes...pumpkin chili...pumpkin parfaits...stuffed pumpkins....pumpkin waffles...pumpkin pancakes...pumpkin fries...pumpkin and shrimp...
sounds like Bubba from "Forrest Gump" huh?  ha ha

Everywhere you turn these days it seems every recipe popping up on the internet is for something sweet or savory using pumpkin. And yes it is fall, but there just seems to be an abundance of pumpkin recipes more than ever. So much for the rumored pumpkin shortage!

I am A HUGE fan of pumpkin and not just during fall but year round. I stock up on canned pumpkin, I hoard it in fact. But you will never see me on that show, hoarders, because I use it up way before the expiration date. ha ha. But there is something about pumpkin baked goods that are especially yummy during the fall when it is supposed to be used as an ingredient.  I normally make relatively healthy items with pumpkin like my oatmeal pumpkin pancakes, or whole wheat pumpkin protein muffins. But I have been wanting to jump on the whoopie pie bandwagon for a while and I came across this recipe on Brown Eyed Baker's blog and I HAD to try it. In fact I made the recipe twice they were that DAMN GOOD. I nicknamed these cupcake sandwiches since that's what they seemed like

I didn't even have to bust out my stand mixer for these. I love my kitchen aid, don't get me wrong, but sometimes that one or two bowl recipe for baking makes a recipe that much more enticing to make. Here are the dry ingredients with a buttload of spices. I am not  fan of pumkin pie but I love the pumpkin pie flavors. I know, I'm weird. ha ha
mmmmm cinnamonamannamuminum ( as my 2 year old calls it). You can also SUB 2 tbsp of pumpkin pie spice for the spices in the recipe if you want. Makes it a little easier - less steps

wet ingredients ( pumpkin not mixed in yet)

I use the organic canned pumpkin. I am a pesticide-phobe. And use the canned pumpkin NOT the pumpkin pie filling. That has all sorts of other added ingredients and we don't want those

The pumpkin added into the wet ingredients. Mmmmm  love the orange color

two bowls of ingredients about to become one bowl of spicy pumpkiny goodness. Yes pumpkiny is a word. I say so

this smelled sooooo good

I forgot to take a picture of the blobs before they went into the oven. I used my OXO cookie scoop that is 1 1/2 tbsp size. Not sure what # that is for scoop size but it works perfectly. And I used a silpat silicon mat. No need to buy an actual whoopie pie pan. This worked perfectly.

While these were cooling I made the filling. 
Butter and cream cheese. Paula Deen's favorite food combo. ha ha

Again no need to bust out the stand mixer here, hand mixer works perfectly

Powdered sugar and cinnamon to the butter and cream cheese. This is a great cinnamon cream cheese frosting for anything really. Like cakes, cupcakes, a spoon straight into the mouth.. you get the idea

I used a pastry bag and my big round tip to pipe about 1-2 tablespoons worth of filling. I wanted it to have a good amount of filling inside.

cute lil blobs of filling

Sooooooo good!!!

I LOVED these. They were moist, flavorful, pumpkiny. The cookie part was sooo good and the filling was perfect. The original recipe calls for a maple cream cheese but I thought the maple would conflict a little with the pumpkin and I wanted to enhance the pumpkin flavor more so I subbed cinnamon for maple. These even made a very pregnant girl friend of mine very happy, and she isn't normally big on sweets but she said these were the best things she had ever eat. So I will take it!!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Filling
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Yield: About 4 dozen assembled whoopie pies (will vary depending on how large you make them)
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Bake Time: 15-17 minutes ( original recipe called for 10-12 min but that wasn't long enough in MY oven)

For the Whoopie Pies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
3 cups chilled pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin NOT pumpkin pie filling)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

NOTE: you can substitute 2 1/2 tbsp of pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. 

For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Filling:
3 cups powdered sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature (full fat these are a dessert don't use fat free here!)
4 ounces (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the granulated sugar, the dark brown sugar, and the oil together. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined.

4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and whisk until completely combined.

5. Use a small cookie scoop or a large spoon to drop a rounded, heaping tablespoon of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart.

6. Bake for 15-17 minutes, making sure that the cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. The cookies should be firm when touched. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on a cooling rack.

7. To make the filling, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth with no visible lumps, about 3 minutes. Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time, then add the cinnamon and vanilla and beat until smooth.

8. To assemble the whoopie pies: Turn half of the cooled cookies upside down. Pipe or spoon the filling (about a tablespoon or more) onto that half. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling. Press down slightly so that the filling spread to the edges of the cookie. Repeat until all the cookies are used. Put the whoopie pies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm before serving.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Boob Cupcakes ~ Guest Blogger

 Censored view .. uncensored view below

Hello to all you “A Cup Full of Cake” readers -

A few weeks ago, Shanna asked me if I would be interested in doing a guest blog as soon as she saw my boob cupcakes that I made for Mr. UPS (the UPS man) at my friends store. What a perfect month for it, October, Breast Cancer Awareness month!

If you can roll a ball of fondant, you can make a boob, or two, or three. Simply roll two equal balls of flesh colored fondant. Use a straw and cut out a tan circle, place on top. Make a ball out of a pinch of fondant and place that on the tan circle that you made with the straw. If you want to do some tattoo art, use Americolor dye, dip a toothpick in the dye and go start doing the tattoo.  I find that Americolors are much easier to work with.  It doesn't take as much dye to make rich colored fondant & frostings.  One of my favorite tools I own is my Cricut Cake Water brush, only I fill mine with vodka. Vodka dries quicker than water and prevents the fondant from getting gummy.  I use this as a glue instead of gumpaste glue.

Thanks, Shanna for allowing me to share with your readers! I hope you all enjoy these boobs as much as Mr. UPS did.

Thanks for reading!


Guest Blogger for October Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer awareness month and I am sure many of you have women in your family, or friends or maybe even yourself have been affected by this horrendous disease. I have an aunt that has and she is a survivor for several years now and a good friend that is a 10 year survivor. So in honor of this month my good friend Stephanie from the blog, sweetcreationsbystephanie, will be posting about some FABULOUS cupcakes she made that are perfect for this month. She will also post some fondant tips. She makes cakes and cupcakes for friends and family and as a hobbyist and not a professional her work is better than most professionals I have seen. Check out her blog and look at her amazing creations as well as tons of fondant tips!!
So stay tuned for some FUN cupcakes!!

Lemon Blueberry Marble Cake - Happy Birthday MOM!!

 My mom was planning on coming out in August to celebrate my daughter's 2nd birthday ( Yes I know - August and i'm finally blogging in October..) and her birthday is also in August so I had to make her something yummy too. She is normally a chocolate lover but my friend Stephanie had found this AMAZING cake on a blog somewhere and we both decided we had to make it. She made it first and said that it was too sweet for her taste and not lemony enough. We both love the combo of blueberries and lemons and she said she was a little disappointed that it wasn't more tart and lemony. So I decided to mess with the recipe a little and see what I could do to make it more tart than overly sweet. And my changes were EXACTLY what it needed. Tart, lemony, not too sweet and the perfect touch of sweetness from the homemade blueberry jam for the filling. I also went with a lemon Swiss meringue buttercream frosting instead of the frosting that the recipe called for. Only because I like it.

 I really love the combo of fresh sweet blueberries and bright tart lemons. To me this says"summer".

 First I made the homemade blueberry jam so it would chill and set up. I made this a couple of days before I baked and assembled the cake. The jam recipe called for a TON of sugar and I thought that would take away from the natural sweetness of the fresh blueberries so I only added 2 tbsp instead of 3/4 cup. I was so glad I did that. It was perfect. Not too sweet at all.

 I also didn't puree the blueberries first then add to the pan to  simmer. I kept them whole and mashed as it cooked.

Cake time!

 One of my additions to this recipe was a TON more lemon zest. And I cut the sugar by a little bit since my friend said tha cake part was too sweet. And I am glad I did that..

This recipe called for cake flour which is a softer wheat and makes for a lighter crumb. I don't always use it for cakes and cupcake, all purpose usually works just fine, but for the recipes that I make that call for it I use it.

 The pans are greased at then lined with parrchement. To get a perfect fit I trace around the bottom of the pan while the pan is on top of the parchement, cut it out and place inside the greased pan. 

 mmmm everything is better with butter..

 We buy our eggs from a local farm so they aren't always the same size but come in a variety of colors. I read somewhere that using brown eggs for coloring at Easter time make for richer colors.
The cake batter was a really light creamy batter

You can see the little flecks of lemon zest. I used a TON and this really made this cake more lemony than  the original recipe

For the marbled effect a few blobs or tablespoons, however you like to measure, of the jam is added to some batter and mixed well. I should have done more jam and batter because it didn't come out as marbelized as I thought it would.

Add the jam/batter mixture to the batter in the pan. I did two layers of this in each pan for a more marbled effect.

I just used a toothpick to swirl the jam batter around 

Not as much marbelizing as I thought there would be but still looked good and the lemony smell was awesome!

one of the layers cut in half

the homemade blueberry jam. The recipe made a ton so I saved the rst in a jar in the fridge and the hubby ate it on toast. He said it was perfect, not too sweet

first layer done

this was a tall cake!!

I had a picture of the crumb coat layer but I am having a hard time moving pics around for some reason and it disappeared! So here is the cake with the final later of frosting. It is lemon Swiss meringue butter cream. I purposefully didn't make it super smooth because of the lemon zest in it. I liked the way it looked

 With some frosting embelleshments

 I added fresh blueberries and dyed some of the frosting purple for extra decorations. I saw a cake like this with this recipe online somewhere but now I can't remember where to give them credit!

As you can see the marbelizing wasn't too obvious but the layers looked great with the blueberry jam

YUMMY!!  I really loved this cake and so did my mom and everyone else that had a piece or two! I think my changes were great and made this a keeper and I might try the recipe with cupcakes next time!!

Marbled Lemon Blueberry Cake
Adapted from SKY HIGH Cakes


For the lemon-blueberry preserve
3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
2tbsp  sugar OR honey
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2-3 teaspoons grated lemon zest

For the lemon cake

8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tbsp grated lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
7 egg whites
3 cups cake flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cups milk
¼ c fresh lemon juice
Fresh blueberries, for decoration


Make the lemon-blueberry preserve

1. Purée the blueberries, with any juices they have exuded, in a blender or food processor. Pass the puré e through a coarse strainer or the medium disk of a food mill to remove the skins.

2. In a heavy medium nonreactive saucepan, combine the blueberry purée with the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and ginger. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Continue cooking, stirring often, for 20 minutes, until the preserves have thickened and are reduced to 1 cup. To check for proper thickness, place 1 to 2 teaspoons on a small china or glass plate and put it in the freezer until cold. Drag your finger through the thickened purée: a clear path should remain. If it’s not ready, cook 5 minutes longer and repeat the test. Let the preserves cool, then cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Make the lemon cake

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter the bottom and sides of three ( or two) 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. In a mixer bowl, cream the butter, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon extract until light and fluffy. Gradually add the egg whites, 2 or 3 at a time, beating well between additions and stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; whisk gently to blend. In 2 or 3 alternating additions, beat the dry ingredients, lemon juice and milk into the butter mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl several times. Beat on medium-high speed for about 1 minute to smooth out any lumps and aerate the batter.

4. Scoop 1 cup of the batter into a small bowl. Divide the remainder equally among the 3 ( or 2) prepared cake pans, smoothing the tops with a rubber spatula. This gives you a “clean canvas” to work with. Add 2 – 4 tablespoons of the Lemon-Blueberry Preserves to the reserved batter and blend well. Drizzle heaping teaspoons of this blueberry mixture over the batter in the pans. Using a skewer or paring knife, swirl the blueberry mixture in short strokes to drag it down through the lemon batter without mixing it in.

5. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean and the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let the layers cool in their pans for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely, at least 1 hour.

Assemble the lemon-blueberry cake

1. Place a cake layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread half of the Lemon-Blueberry Preserves over the top. Place a second layer on top of the first and spread the remaining preserves over it. Finally, place the third layer on top of the second and frost the sides and top of the cake with the Lemon Buttercream Frosting. Decorate with fresh blueberries.  If you do several layers like I did then make sure you have enough of the preserves for each layer. The recipe did make quite a bit so you can save it to put on toast or mix into yogurt for a yummy snack!

Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Makes about 5 cups
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6egg whites
1/8 tsp salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp
1 tbsp Lemon extract
2 tbsp lemon zest

Put sugar, egg whites and salt into the top of a double boiler over a pan of simmering water. Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (about 160 degrees). Pour heated egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg white mixture on high speed until it forms stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, about 7 minutes total. With mixer on medium-low, add butter two tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Increase speed to medium-high; continue beating until frosting appears thick, about 3 minutes. If it is still runny keep beating it will come together I promise. Add in the lemon extract and the zest and continue beating 1 minute to reduce air bubbles.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Yo Gabba Gabba Cupcakes

 Yo Gabba Gabba Cupcakes

I'm baaaaccckkk.... Sort of. Sleep deprived, exhausted, zombie-fied, but I have been baking and I neeeeed to blog. Oh and I have NO CLUE what happened to my background. I saw that blogger changed its format one day and I was looking at it and I guess I changed it and couldn't figure out how to fix. Hopefully I will soon because it looks goofy. I am not an IT person so for right now that's what you get. ha ha

So my first blog is some cupcakes I made for a good friend for her kiddo's 2nd birthday. I KNOW I said my first blog back from my self appointed baking maternity leave would be killer vanilla cupcakes but those will be soon ( and they weren't as killer as I thought they would be..) any who. My friend's little boy is 6 days older than my first daughter so they are good friends and we do play dates all the time and my gift to him besides a very obnoxious batteries required monster truck that his dad just LOVES was his birthday cupcakes. Jack is a HUGE Yo Gabba Gabba fan so I made cupcakes to match the theme of the party. I TOTALLY didn't take step by step pics. I know. I suck. BUT. They are MY go-to chocolate cupcake recipe and a basic vanilla swiss meringue buttercream, dyed with ameri-colors food colorings to get those nice bright colors. Americolors are a gazillion times better than Wilton's for 2 reasons: 1. squeeze bottle. No digging around in a tub with a toothpick. 2. You use way less to achieve a nice bright color. So no funny dye taste. I made 20 cupcakes and 2 cakes. I used my wilton sports ball cake pans for the two half dome cake pans. It was also Jack's dad, Noah's birthday celebration so I made him a cake too. I am not all that familiar with Yo gabba gabba so I found several online for inspiration as well as the Nickelodeon web site

Okay. Picture time

Jack - the birthday boy patiently waiting for his cake/cupcakes

 I bought this stand just for the party. There are 5 different characters so I made 4 of each one. Aren't the colors great? Americolors baby!!

I laughed when I saw how I had outlined the eyes on some of the characters. They looked like they had glasses on. My friend Kaysie had made a Yo Gabba Gabba quilt and said that the characters looked like members of The Cure with the black around the eyes. We were cracking up.
For the fondant dots I rolled the fondant thin and used a #12 round wilton deco tip. Worked perfectly

Jack's favorite character is this guy, Brobee, so I made him a smash cake. So what if kids usually only get a smash cake on their 1st birthday, I don't think it should stop at age 1, I think everyone should have a smash cake. So I will have one at my "29th" birthday next year... ha ha.  I used the grass tip for the fur and it wasn't that easy to use with swiss meringue buttercream. I have hot hands and when I pipe the frosting started to soften up so the fur would look a little mushy. I kept having to chill the bag a little so it would harden back up enough to show the detail.

This is the cake I made for Jack's dad, Noah. There is a DJ in Yo Gabba Gabba named DJ Lance and he wears this crazy orange hat with a funky star. I figured since Noah is a DJ by hobby that he needed a DJ Lance hat cake.

Here is the whole set up with the Yo Gabba Gabba quilt in the background. My friend Kaysie did a great job with it.

Cake smashing time. Jack was already messy from the finger painting session so why not dive into the cake. And of course he wanted cupcakes too and why not? It was his birthday afterall

My munchkin diving into a cupcake

I was dying laughing she looked like she had lipstick on. I think from now on I will just do frosting shots. That's all kids eat any way...

Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Makes about 5 cups
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 
6egg whites
1/8 tsp salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Put sugar, egg whites and salt into the top of a double boiler over a pan of simmering water. Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (about 160 degrees). Pour heated egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg white mixture on high speed until it forms stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, about 7 minutes total.   With mixer on medium-low, add butter two tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Increase speed to medium-high; continue beating until frosting appears thick, about 3 minutes. If it is still runny keep beating it will come together I promise. Add in the vanilla extract and continue beating 1 minute to reduce air bubbles.