Sunday, October 30, 2011

Chocolate Funfetti Halloween Cake

So, I promised a coworker I'd make a Halloween cake for her party she was having for some kids in her neighborhood.  I had it all planned out.  It was going to be a sheet cake with all kinds of spooky decorations.  A graveyard, ghosts, spooky trees....  Then, life happened.  I completely ran out of time.  Being a single mother to a toddler can be a little difficult and sometimes you feel like some crazy circus juggler with everything that seems to come up at once.  So, that being said, I did make her a cake but it was a lot smaller and less fancy.  I still think it came out cute and so did she, so we're all happy.

I ended up just doing 2 box cake mixes (don't judge me) that were Devil's Food Cake and Funfetti.  It was very simple and, when in a pinch, this is not a bad way to go.  For the frosting, I went with a store bought Chocolate frosting (please, please don't judge....).  Obviously, I wasn't able to sample the cake being given away but there was enough batter left over that I was able to make a mini cake for my daughter and I to enjoy and it really didn't turn out bad at all.
my favorite box mix brand when I'm short on time

Down to the details...

I made this cake in a bundt pan.  If you don't have one, I suggest adding it to your stock because they just make really fun shaped cakes. =)

I started out by pouring about 1/2 of the Devil's Food cake batter into a well greased pan.  I use Pam for Baking.  On top of that, I poured in about 1/2 of the Funfetti that I added Wilton's Orange Food Coloring to so that the cake would be Halloween colors.  I wanted to add black to the Devil's Food cake but Michael's was all out. Brown and Orange work, though..  When you cut into the cake, it has a bit of a swirl to it and looks pretty cool.  Fun for a kids party. I baked according to package directions for the Bundt cake.

As for decorating, once cooled, I frosted completely with Chocolate frosting.  I thought I'd get creative and make homemade marshmallow fondant.  WHAT A DISASTER!  Not only did I have a 2 year old trying to help me out but I ran out of powdered sugar!  How did I not have any powdered sugar!  I always have it!!  So, I made my own.  Sugar in a food processor will turn into powder but I don't think I was patient enough because it wasn't powdery enough.  It was a big mess.  I finally got it to a point where it was somewhat workable and ended up just cutting out a couple of ghosts to stick onto the cake.  Never again... Or at least not for a long time..
what a mess!

By the end of the day, although the cake turned out fine, I was so happy to get it out of my hands and into the hands of the kids who would devour it!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Vegan French Vanilla Cupcakes

I'm not vegan.  I enjoy my meat and dairy and junk food and especially cupcakes.  I enjoy cupcakes so much that I even enjoyed these ones.

If you're vegan or if you've never tried anything vegan, these cupcakes are for you.  They are so delicious. They're light and fluffy.  They have such a wonderful hint of almond in them.  Top them off with a strawberry frosting and you've got yourself one delectable cupcakes you've ever stuck your teeth into.

Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures at this time but don't let that discourage you from trying them.

·         1 1/2 cups vanilla soy milk or almond milk
·         1 T. lemon juice
·         2 1/4 cup flour
·         2 t. baking powder
·         1/2 t. baking soda
·         1/2 t. salt
·         1 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
·         1/2 cup canola oil
·         1 t. vanilla extract
·         1 t. hazelnut extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line muffin pans with 16 cupcake liners and set aside.
2. In a small bowl or cup, combine the soy milk and lemon juice, whisking until combined. (Mixture will curdle.) Set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Set aside.
4. In another bowl, whisk together the soymilk mixture with the canola oil, vanilla extract and hazelnut extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing until just combined. Portion the batter in to the prepared pans and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool on a wire cooling rack completely before icing with Dairy-Free Frosting of your choice.

Now, I admit, I didn't stay completely Vegan with this cupcake.  I made a strawberry cream cheese frosting for them and it was delicious.  However, I've included a link to the Dairy-Free frostings that would be just as delicious.

Have you made a change in your diet to include any Vegan  dishes?  I am trying to have a few meatless days in our family but I do love dairy!  

Thank you to Dairy Free Cooking for this delicious recipe that I've saved in my favorites, printed and shared, printed some more...

Monday, October 24, 2011

My Heart Just Did Some #BIGSTEPPIN

Take a look at what I found in my Twitter DM!  My heart is Big Steppin!!!  

That's right.  I rock. He said it himself!

man...I love twitter!

Do you have a twitter account?  Has it made your day yet?

You can find me on twitter @cpckkisses or by clicking the link above!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

To Die For Chocolate Cupcakes with Big Steppin Skeletons

Last night, I revealed my celebrity crush AND posted a recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes that are TO DIE FOR! After making them tonight, it is confirmed (again) that they are, indeed, TO DIE FOR!

The rich Chocolate cake mixed with the  Ganache and the Frosting are so incredible.  I suggest making mini's so you don't have an overload.

Now, in my post last night I said that I was going to leave off the Chambord Ganache but still have the Raspberry filling.  Well, I changed my mind.  I left out the filling but included the Ganache.  I did change it a little and use some Red Wine I had on hand.  Didn't have the time to go buy Chambord.  It still tasted heavenly.

The Mascarpone Frosting was delectable.  Why don't I make this more often?  It has got to be one of the easiest frostings out there.  It is so light and fluffy and so sweet!  Not sweet like grocery store frosting.  Sweet like I could eat the whole bowl and not frost the cupcakes.

All in all, I'm very satisfied with this cupcakes.  So satisfied that I'm debating on whether I'm going to take them to work with me tomorrow??  Do I really want to share??  =)

Now the fun part.  If you recall, my celebrity crush is Aaron Goodwin of Travel Channel's GHOST ADVENTURES.  You should also remember his signature move.  You don't? I'll give you a second to go back and read that last post.....


Ok, welcome back.  So, he's a Big Steppin kinda guy.  Throwing around some ideas for an upcoming Halloween cake, I thought I'd try out some chocolate Big Steppin Skeletons.  They were so easy to make!  I melted some chocolate chips in a bowl.  Poured the melted chips into a heavy duty plastic baggy and cut off the tip.  I do this a lot if I'm not trying to make super fancy designs.  Anyway, I basically just drew the shape I wanted onto some parchment paper and stuck them in the fridge to set.

He's Big Steppin his way out of my cupcake!

I love it!  Unfortunately, The frosting is soft and so is this little guy so as soon as it started warming up, it also started falling over.  It looked ok when I just laid them all on their cupcakes instead of trying to stand them all up.

Whether or not you want to try to add a little skeleton to your cupcake is up to you but I do suggest that you most definitely make these cupcakes.  They are made to impress and I promise they will! 

If you're a single lady, like myself, grab a glass of red wine, one of these cupcakes and settle in on the couch to watch the most recent episode of Ghost Adventures on Travel Channel.  Friday nights!!  =)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Aaron Goodwin and Chocolate Halloween cupcakes

I don't think I've mentioned this before but I have the most interesting celebrity crush.  Who, you ask??
(I'm imagining him saying "Hey, pretty lady.." to me, of course)

Aaron Goodwin of Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures.  I know.. I'm a little confused by it, too.  Where did it come from?  I'm not quite sure?  Maybe, it's my love for all things spooky (at a distance, preferably on tv, of course)?  Maybe, it's the fact that he's from Oregon and I'm in Oregon? Maybe, my tastes in men are changing with the number of candles on my birthday cake?

I'm really not sure where or why but I'm not complaining.  This guy has me cracking up while watching one of the most spooky (if not over dramatized) ghost investigating shows currently on tv. I even make sure that if I miss an episode, I find it on netflix or youtube just so I can keep up.  I will watch this show and let it scare the heck out of me in a dark, quiet apartment, all by myself just so this celebrity crush can make me giggle a little.  Suppose that's something I'll have to leave behind in my 20's?  Yes? No??

Aaron Goodwin has a trademark move called Big Steppin.  He even has a website that sells "Big Steppin Gear" -you can get your Big Steppin Gear here.  In honor of my celebrity crush and Halloween, I will be spending my day making some Halloween themed cupcakes.  On top of these cupcakes will be some Big Steppin skeletons.
Melted Chocolate Big Steppin Skeletons
The Real Big Steppin
I practiced a little tonight with some melted chocolate.  If they set up well and work good on the cupcakes, I'm going to add some to the cake I'm baking for my coworker's party.  I can't wait to see how these things turn out.

But first, the cupcakes!  I'm going to do a chocolate cupcake but to add a creepy little touch, they will be filled with a gooey raspberry filling!

These are delicious.  I've used this recipe many, many times!!  


8 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) organic cocoa

3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

2 large organic eggs

3/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder

3/4 cup (5 Ounces) sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup(4 ounces)sour cream

Raspberry Filling

1 10 oz. package frozen raspberries with sugar

3 Tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Chambord Ganache

3/8 cup heavy cream

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

4 ounces dark chocolate chips

1 1/2 teaspoon Chambord

Mascarpone Frosting

4 ounces mascarpone cheese

3/8 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted

1/2 cup whipped heavy cream

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard-sized muffin pan (cups have 1/2-cup capacity) with baking-cup liners.


Combine the butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a glass bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water. Heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted and whisk until smooth and combined. Set aside to cool until just warm to the touch.
Sieve the flour, baking soda, and baking powder in small bowl to combine. Whisk eggs in second medium bowl to combine and add espresso powder, sugar, vanilla, and salt and whisk until fully incorporated. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Sift about one-third of flour mixture over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined; whisk in sour cream until combined, then sift remaining flour mixture over and whisk until batter is homogenous and thick. Take care not to overbeat the batter.
Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Bake until skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out almost clean, 15 to 18 minutes.Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature before icing, about 30 minutes.
Raspberry Filling
Thaw raspberries and drain. You should have almost 3/4 cup liquid/juice. Put liquid in a small saucepan and combine with sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Cook stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil and is very thick. Let cool. Stir in raspberries without the extra juice that drains further (you want the filling to be thick). Fill cupcakes by removing a small piece in the middle of the cupcake, fill hole with about 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons of filling. Trim the piece you have cut out and place back over the filling in the cupcake. You can also pipe filling into the cupcake, however, this is pretty thick, so it is more difficult.
Chambord Ganache
Bring cream and butter just to a boil. Pour over chocolate chips. Let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk until glossy and smooth. Add Chambord. Let mixture sit 5 minutes to set before frosting cupcakes.
Mascarpone Frosting
Beat together mascarpone cheese and sugar until smooth. Gently fold in whipped cream until combined. Place in a decorating bag and decorate tops of cupcakes as desired.

For these, I will be leaving off the Chambord Ganache.  I'll be serving these to children so the Mascarpone frosting will be enough.  

Thank you to Chef Catherine's Cake Recipes for the wonderful recipe!!

Pictures to come tomorrow!

Do you have a celebrity crush?  Who is yours?  I know you got one..or two..

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Halloween Cake

So, I promised a coworker I'd bake a cake for her Halloween party she's having.  Now that the date is getting closer, I'm a little nervous.  I've only decorated for a theme one time.  It was a Super Mario cake that wasn't my best but it was for a 3 and 4 year old so they weren't too picky.  lol

I haven't quite decided what the cake will look like so if any readers have any ideas, shoot them at me!  I'm leaning towards a cemetery with ghosts!  It could look pretty awesome.  Let me know what you think..

Here's the ideas I've come up with -->

Chocolate cake with a ooey gooey red filling (strawberry?)
Marshmallow fondant ghosts
Cookie graves
Chocolate spooky trees
Buttercream ghosts
Black fondant roses on the corners
Zombie hands coming out of the graves

I know I can't put all of that on a cake (unless it's a really big cake) and still have it look decent.  I don't want it cluttered.

If you were making a themed cake for Halloween, what would your plan be?

In other news - 16 days until the big 3-0!!  I really am hoping for a makeover.  Hair cut, new clothes...  This is definitely the beginning of a beautiful new life!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Butterscotch Cupcakes were a hit!!

Quick note:

I took the Butterscotch Cupcakes to work today.  They were a hit.  If you want to impress your coworkers with a simple but delectable cupcake, take a look at my post on Quadruple Butterscotch..  

Have a nice night.  I'm trying to get a toddler settled in bed.  Wish me luck..

If you could try any flavor combination in a cupcake, what would it be??

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Quadruple Butterscotch Cupcakes...very rich!

I recently found a recipe for Quadruple Butterscotch Cupcakes and just knew I had to try them.  I haven't had a very good butterscotch dessert in quite some time.  (I don't consider throwing butterscotch chips in some cookies a dessert.)  I've had a couple failed attempts at homemade Butterscotch Pie which never set up no matter how many times I tried to fix it.

I had the day off from work today with not a whole lot to do so I got to baking.  The recipe, which you can find below, was very easy to follow.  Nothing weird in it.  Something that you should be able to find all at one store. (Don't you hate having to go to multiple stores for one recipe?)

I suppose we should get down to the details...

One of my biggest annoyances in cupcake baking, is when the wrapper folds in during baking making your cupcake odd shaped.  Not that it effects the taste or anything.  I used two different wrappers this time and all the odd shaped ones were the same type of wrapper...just a cheap find in the $1 section at Michael's.  They were cute but not high quality (I'm assuming that's why they got mishappen?)

 This is my assistant, Miss S.  She snuck a "fresh out the oven" cc.  She doesn't wait for the frosting.  I can't blame her.  These were very tasty all by themselves.
 This is a "Double Boiler."  Basically, you put a little water in a pan, bring it to a simmer.  Your bowl will sit right on top so you want to make sure that it's bigger than the pot.  This is what you will make the ganache in.  You don't want to put the cream and chips directly into the pot cause it won't turn out the same.
 My assistant giving the ganache a stir to "help it cool."  She's a very good helper.
 While the cupcakes and ganache were cooling to room temp, we took a pause for a picture break.  Aren't we just too cute!
 Our finished product.  It's very pretty, don't you think?  The buttercream frosting was getting a little warm at this point but it was still setting up nicely.  If you make a buttercream and it's just not holding the shape you want, try sticking it in the freezer for a bit to chill it again.

MY REVIEW:  These cupcakes were very good.  Not exactly the Butterscotch I was expecting.  But, really, I'm not sure what I expected.  They definitely have a lot of Butter flavor.  The cake itself tastes more like a butter cake than anything else.  Paula Deen would approve, for sure.  I think when I make these again (and I am definitely make these again) I will leave the butter flavor out of the frosting.  I think it would be just fine with the ganache added to it.

So, to sum it up, if you like rich Butterscotch, you will enjoy these.  They are easy to make and easier to eat!  Mine are in the fridge right now because (call me a wierdo) I prefer my cupcakes cold!


Triple Butterscotch Cupcakes
Adapted from Squirrel Bakes
Makes about 15
Butterscotch Cupcakes
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cream soda
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake tins with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add in sugars and beat until well combined, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add in eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Mix in vanilla and butter flavoring.
Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix gently, then add 1/4 cup buttermilk and 1/4 cup cream soda and mix until just combined. Add half of remaining flour and mix until just combined. Add the remaining buttermilk and cream soda, mix briefly and then add the remaining of the flour. Mix until all ingredients are just combined. Do not overmix.
Fill each cupcake liner about 3/4 full. Bake 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove and let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a cooling rack before filling and frosting.
Butterscotch Ganache
3/4 cup heavy cream
11 ounces (1 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) butterscotch chips
Heat heavy cream in a double boiler until just simmering. Add butterscotch chips and whisk together until they are completely melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Set aside 1/3 cup of ganache for the buttercream.
Once the cupcakes have cooled, use the cone method or an apple corer to remove the centers of the cupcakes and fill with butterscotch ganache. Replace top and frost with buttercream.
*This will make more than necessary, feel free to drizzle over ice cream, chocolate cake, or other things you have around your kitchen.
Butterscotch Buttercream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup butterscotch ganache
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/8 teaspoon salt
16 ounces (about 3 3/4 cups) confectioners’ sugar
Cream butter for about 1 minute or until fluffy. Mix in butterscotch ganache, vanilla, butter flavoring, and salt until well combined. Sift in confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time, until completely mixed it, scraping the bowl as necessary. Beat buttercream on medium-high for 2-3 minutes or until shiny and fluffy. If the buttercream is too thick, add a tablespoon of milk or cream and mix until combined.
Frost cooled and filled cupcakes and drizzle leftover buttercream on top.

Thank you, again, to Ryan's Baking Blog for this recipe!

Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.

Off to make some pizza for's a day full of baking!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Butterscotch Overload..

After a not so extensive search (2 sites) I found my Butterscotch cupcakes.  I went to my go to site for all things cupcakes and was unable to find a Butterscotch recipe.  So, I turned to Google and clicked on the very first link I saw..  How could I not with a name like "QUADRUPLE BUTTERSCOTCH CUPCAKES" There was an instant party in my mouth.  They were all I could think of all day.  So, can you guess what I'm doing in the morning?

Dropping my toddler, Miss S, off at day care and headed over to Alby's to pick up my supplies.  I have a pretty heavy supply of cupcake baking items but there are a few more I'm going to have to pick up tomorrow.  I'm still on the search for the perfect 30th birthday cupcakes and these just may be them!!

Be on the look out for a review and pictures tomorrow.  I'm gonna have cupcake dreams tonight.  I'll probably also have dreams of my celebrity crush but that's a whole other post for a whole other day....

Thank you to: Ryans Baking Blog for this recipe!!  Can't wait to try it out!

Move over Susie Homemaker... Cupcake Kisses is coming through and bringing Butterscotch!

I'm starting to feel like I've somewhat recovered from this so called "common cold."  I'm not feeling like an extra in AMC's The Walking Dead anymore.  More like an extra in Dazed and Confused if they were "dazed and confused" due to the effects of cold medicine.

To celebrate my recovery, I hopped online to do one of my favorite things ever!  CUPCAKE RECIPE SEARCHING!!!!!!!

I have Butterscotch on the brain (better than braaaaiiiiinnnnsss on the brain..) so I am on the lookout for a ooey gooey Butterscotch Cupcake.  I have a go to sits that I'm about to do some searching at which I'll post the link to at the bottom of this post.  If any readers out there who happen to stumble upon this blog have any Butterscotch anything recipes, I'd love to try them out.  I love BS! ;)

Gonna go on my hunt now..  But first, don't forget to check out this awesome cupcake blog --> Cupcake Project

Sunday, October 16, 2011


just a little insight into how i'm feeling today.
i'm the victim and the "common cold" is my zombie.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Just a common cold...right?

I've heard people refer to colds forever as "a common cold." Why does something so common make you feel like you're head is going to explode!! That isn't very common!

That being said, I feel like crap tonight. It's Saturday night, the Oregon Ducks just whooped on ASU and I'm up late watching Hocus Pocus because I can't sleep thanks to this "common cold!"

I think I'm just gonna hop on Twitter for a while and catch up with my Tweeps... (Is that what the kids call em? Remember, I'm getting too old for cool kid lingo.)

Tomorrow, I'll be 20 days from 30 and cupcakes will fill my kitchen, my mouth, my thighs.....

Until then, my dears, enjoy some sweet dreams for me.

Friday, October 14, 2011

I'm back...

I seemed to have taken an extended break from my blog. But, I'm back.

I'm back as a woman on the verge of 30! Not that I wasn't a woman before but 30 wasn't right around the corner when I last posted. Now, in less than a month, I will be the big THREE OHHHH!!! I'm not upset about it. A little excited, actually. 30. An adult. A real, live grown up. That's what I get to deal with soon. But, am I really ready?

Talking to other girlfriends who have entered this new age group or are about to enter, I've realized that we all have something in common. All of a sudden, we're evaluating our lives. Am I where I'm supposed to be financially? Emotionally? How do you know where you should be? Should I be married? Or at least in a long term, committed relationship? Cause I'm not. Should I be upset about that? Cause I'm not? (Mostly....)

I know that with my upcoming birthday I have a new beginning. (Never mind that I say that every year...) I really do have a new beginning. I'll no longer be in my twenties. I'm ready to leave them behind. I'm ready to start out fresh and have everything I deserve..maybe even a few things I don't deserve but want really bad.

With all that being said, I'm ready to start documenting again. My random postings with cupcakes thrown here and there (cause let's face it, I'm still obsessed..) is mostly for my sanity and emotional release but I welcome everyone to come along. I promise it will be random. It may not be funny or inspiring or anything at all. But it'll be something..

For now, I'm going to enjoy one of the last Friday nights I have as a 20something-er... lol.. I'm going to watch the first season of Walking Dead, drink a glass of wine and fold some laundry. (hopefully, I won't spill any!) See...already to old to be in my 20's - staying home on a Friday night!!

Night all..