Tag Archives: cupcakes

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Happy V-day everyone! For all the happy couples, enjoy your day. And for the lonely hearts out there? Keep your chin up, it could be worse. You could still be with that gross ex of yours. You know which one I'm talking about.

And even though Kevin is far away during this romantic holiday, I thought I would get in the spirit of love and make some red velvet cupcakes with marshmallow cream frosting. They came out a little messier than I would have liked, and the cute heart wrapper things I had set aside didn't work, but they still taste awesome!

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The coolest person in the world, Beth (HI BETH!!!) helped me make these this weekend, after she so bravely endured being my assistent during an engagement photo shoot for some friends. The girl has a knack for holding things, as it turns out. And that's not all she can do! Just look at her lovely chocolate decorations:

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Gentlemen? She's single ;)

(Kidding. I know that men don't read my blog.)

You will need:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 softened butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 bottle (1 oz) red food coloring
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 jar (7.5 oz) marshmallow cream (fluff)
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350. Line cupcake tin with paper cups.

In a small bowl, mix flour, cocoa, and salt. Set aside.

In large bowl, mix 1/2 cup butter and sugar on medium. Add eggs and beat 1-2 minutes, until fluffy. Stir in food coloring and vanilla. On low speed, alternate adding buttermilk and flour mixture. Beat in baking soda and vinegar. 

Divide batter among muffin cups, filling 3/4 of the way full. Bake 20-22 mins or until they spring back up when poked.

To make the frosting: microwave fluff for 15-20 seconds, beat with butter on medium speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat until combined. Frost cupcakes, decorate as desired.

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Hulk, shots, jello shots, alcohol, drinks, glasses, theme, avengers, Marvel, party, food, easy, fun, Captain America, Thor, Loki, Bruce Banner, Iron Man, Tony Stark, Radiation, Hulk Smash,

Oh hey everyone, it's been awhile. Hope you all had wonderful thanksgivings, I know I did! Before I get into these too-cute-for-words painted shot glasses that I made for an Avengers party, a few announcements.

1. My book was free for five days on Amazon (I hope you all got your free copies!), and I sold a mind-boggling 16,000 copies. Yeah. That's insane. The promotion ended, but it's still only $2.99, so definitely affordable. And though I made zero dollars from the promotions (bye bye, imaginary $33 grand), the reviews are starting to roll in. For a self-published first time author, there is no greater buzz than reading another 5 star review!

2. I successfully "won" NanoWrimo this year, meaning that I wrote 50,000 words in the month of November. While my second book isn't finished yet, I've gotten more than half of it done already! I won't go into details, but I will leave you with this tantalizing hint: there is a lot of cooking involved, and maybe even a few recipes :)

3. I bought a new lens...it's glorious and I cannot wait to play with it! How did a rash decision to make a blog turn into an obsession with photography and cooking?!

But back to the Avengers!!! When I heard that my friend Beth (Whom I've known since 6th grade!!!) hadn't seen the Avengers or Thor yet, I was in shock. I mean...

Yum.

Being the cooking nerds that we are, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to make some awesome themed food for our (small) party. Here is what we came up with:

Hulk, shots, jello shots, alcohol, drinks, glasses, theme, avengers, Marvel, party, food, easy, fun, Captain America, Thor, Loki, Bruce Banner, Iron Man, Tony Stark, Radiation, Hulk Smash,

  • Thor's Hammer appetizers
  • Hulk Jello Shots
  • Captain America Cupcakes
  • Iron Man Pizza (not shown because it fell off the pizza stone and got all smushed)

These aren't really recipes as much as a bunch of ideas for your own Avengers party.

Hulk, Captain America, Cupcakes, shots, jello shots, alcohol, drinks, glasses, theme, avengers, Marvel, party, food, easy, fun, Captain America, Thor, Loki, Bruce Banner, Iron Man, Tony Stark, Radiation, Hulk Smash,

To make Thor's hammers, we cubed pepperoni, summer sausage, and cheese. We wanted to use sharp cheddar, but found that the softer monterey jack worked better with the pretzel rods and cracked less often.

Hulk, shots, jello shots, alcohol, drinks, glasses, theme, avengers, Marvel, party, food, easy, fun, Captain America, Thor, Captain America, Hammer, Shield,Loki, Bruce Banner, Iron Man, Tony Stark, Radiation, Hulk Smash,

For the adorable Captain America cupcakes, Beth brought simple vanilla cupcakes swirled with red and blue food coloring, and we topped them with circles of colored fondant. Three cheers for her engineering degree and her makeshift star fondant cutter!

Hulk, shots, jello shots, alcohol, drinks, glasses, theme, avengers, Marvel, party, food, easy, fun, Captain America, Thor, Loki, Bruce Banner, Iron Man, Tony Stark, Radiation, Hulk Smash,

Ok, these are probably the cutest things I've made. And yes, I did spend an hour painting shotglasses for a three person party. And I don't even like jello shots!

But what I did was take a dozen or so clean, plain shot glasses. Then I traced this adorable angry hulk face (template from CuteasaFox.com) and made a stencil out of cardboard. Then, using a small brush and black acrylic paint, I colored in the stencil.

Hulk, shots, jello shots, alcohol, drinks, glasses, theme, avengers, Marvel, party, food, easy, fun, Captain America, Thor, Loki, Bruce Banner, Iron Man, Tony Stark, Radiation, Hulk Smash,

And the best part about the painted shot glasses? You throw them in the dishwasher and the paint comes right off, leaving me with a dozen blank canvasses for my next party. I'm sure you could seal the design on there permanently if you wanted to, but I love the re-useability (that isn't a word, is it?) of them. Hell, I might start painting all of my glasses!

Hulk, shots, jello shots, alcohol, drinks, glasses, theme, avengers, Marvel, party, food, easy, fun, Captain America, Thor, Loki, Bruce Banner, Iron Man, Tony Stark, Radiation, Hulk Smash,

The recipe itself is simple: I followed the directions on the box of lime jello (dissolve in hot water, add cold water, etc) and then added about a half cup of Smirnoff Tuscan Lemonade and a dash of plain UV vodka for an extra kick.

Hulk, shots, jello shots, alcohol, drinks, glasses, theme, avengers, Marvel, party, food, easy, fun, Captain America, Thor, Loki, Bruce Banner, Iron Man, Tony Stark, Radiation, Hulk Smash,

Then you slip them into the fridge for a few hours, and voila! Look how cute his little angry face is! Haha.

To be honest though, I would have preferred to just have regular shots instead of jello shots. I ended up eating them out of the glasses with a spoon, because the slimy feeling of a huge cube of jello slowly moving down my esophagus makes me gag.

But anyway, there you have it! Adorable Avengers party food for your next Marvel party. Now if you'll excuse me, I have another 50,000 words to write so I can finish my second book! :)

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brain, science, brain cupcakes, nerdy cupcakes, baking, zombie, desserts, nerd, geek, science, neuroscience, psychology, buttercream, meringue, piping, biscoff, beaker, microscope, slides, ganache, chocolate ganache, filled cupcakes, filling cupcakes, stuffed cupcakes

Cooking is a lot like art. You can experiment and substitute and adapt, and still get fantastic results. Baking, on the other hand, is a lot more like science.

Being a "scientist" myself, you'd think that this make me a pretty good baker. Unfortunately this wasn't the case. It took me several months before I could bake an edible cupcake, and several more before they actually tasted good. I guess my creative, artistic side is more at home in the kitchen than my precise, analytic scientist side.

Photography is another art that can be boiled down to science. Our brains are wired to find certain pictures appealing, and others unattractive. This makes food photography even more difficult, because you have to find a way to tell a story and create a mood...while making the food look appetizing!

These brain cupcakes were a fun experiment (ha) in combining the art and science of both baking and photography, as part of my new desire to take better, more interesting pictures.

I remade my favorite biscoff cupcakes, but this time I added a chocolate ganache filling and a swiss meringue buttercream frosting to pipe the cute little cortex. I got the idea directly from Not So Humble Pie, a great blog that unfortunately isn't updated much anymore, but has an awesome section dedicated to science-themed cookies and cakes.

brain, science, brain cupcakes, nerdy cupcakes, baking, zombie, desserts, nerd, geek, science, neuroscience, psychology, buttercream, meringue, piping, biscoff, beaker, microscope, slides, ganache, chocolate ganache, filled cupcakes, filling cupcakes, stuffed cupcakes ...continue reading

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biscoff, biscoff spread, biscoff cookies, cupcakes, biscoff cupcakes, biscoff frosting, biscoff buttercream, buttercream, sprinkles, biscoff cake, cooking, baking, biscoff recipe, delicious, easy, fun, picky palate recipe

As I type out this blog post, I am already rearranging my schedule around in my head so that I have time to make a double batch of these tonight. The first batch, which I made last week, disappeared far too quickly for me to savor them. Granted, the cupcakes were phenomenal. Simply the most successful cupcakes I've had since Ken and I made the chocolate and beer cupcakes with Baileys buttercream frosting.

I find that the further I push myself into becoming a better cook, the more my palate evolves. Where once I preferred my cupcakes as sweet as I could make them, I now gravitate towards more savory desserts. As soon as I bought my first jar of biscoff I knew I wanted to start baking with it right away, but I wasn't sure how to make sure the sweetness didn't overpower the dish.

biscoff, biscoff spread, biscoff cookies, cupcakes, biscoff cupcakes, biscoff frosting, biscoff buttercream, buttercream, sprinkles, biscoff cake, cooking, baking, biscoff recipe, delicious, easy, fun, picky palate recipe

Biscoff, for those of you who don't know, is heaven in a jar. Made from Lotus biscoff cookies (you might have had them in Europe, or on planes), it's similar in consistency to peanut butter, but deserves a spot on that high pedestal right next to nutella. It has a gingerbready flavor with a hint of cinnamon, and maybe even a little bit of toffee in there. It's to die for, and you can use it in so many ways. Luckily, I found the prefect recipe to use the unique flavor of this spread without being too sweet. ...continue reading

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Merry Christmas everyone! 

I...can't think of anything else to say here. It's too early in the morning, and I'm already all hopped up on sugar and peppermint. And ginger cookies of course. Breakfast of champions.

I made these cupcakes from my brand new cupcake cookbook that my sister gave me, and I'm so excited that they worked! We all know I've had cupcake troubles in the past, so I was thrilled that not only did they poof nicely,  but they tasted pretty damn good too ;)

It's a simple chocolate cupcake recipe paired with a fluffy white frosting with crushed peppermint candies in it and sprinkled on top! And a few candy canes, in case they weren't minty enough. ...continue reading

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cupcakes, baileys, chocolate stout, beer cupcakes, boozy cupcakes,

There's something so perfect about the mating of alcohol and baked goods. Especially when you take something so sweet and innocent as a cupcake and you corrupt it with not one but TWO types of liquor, making a very adult version of your favorite childhood treat.

I've been wanting to bake with alcohol for awhile, but I was always too afraid of my sub-par baking skills to give it a real shot. But my recent success with the Mickey Cupcakes (which I still have to post a recipe for! Sorry!) inspired me to suck it up and dive in. And oh my goodness, are these on an entirely different level than the Mickey cupcakes. The Mickey cupcakes, like Mickey himself, were...cute. They were sweet and sugary and fun, and there's a time and a place for that. But Western NY in the winter is as far from Orlando as you can get, and though there's nothing wrong with that, it takes some getting used to.

These rich, decadent cupcakes are the perfect companion to sitting by the fire, drinking a glass of wine (or leftover Bailey's or beer!) and contemplating your very grown-up future. Or, if you've already accepted the daunting realization that you aren't a kid anymore, go ahead and make these to celebrate your maturity. Or just make them because you like cupcakes and alcohol :) ...continue reading