Sunday, July 24, 2011

Piggy Cake & Cupcakes

This little piggy went to the market, this little piggy stayed home, this little piggy had CAKE, and this little piggy had none, aaannnnddd this little piggy went wee wee wee all the way home!

Today I decided to make a mini piggy cake...with cupcakes to go with it. The reasoning for doing this cake is to give myself something to do since I had no plans whatsoever this weekend and the husband had to work, and to give myself practice on cakes. I got two six inch cake pans so that I can practice making cakes on a smaller scale because the husband and I have a really hard time finishing a whole, full-sized cake (I usually end up throwing half of it away). It is also more difficult to take a whole cake to work than it is to take cupcakes. I really want to practice making cakes so I figured making smaller cakes is the way to go...then I can work my way to larger ones.

I had a hard time trying to figure out what design I wanted to do for this cake.  The reason I chose pigs is because for some odd reason, my husband loves pigs. He collects piggy banks. He says that pigs are cute, happy, and delicious. I also had some piggy cupcake liners that I wanted to use.

For the cake I made a new chocolate cake recipe that I found in my Southern Living Classic Southern Desserts cookbook. This cake/cupcakes is paired with a vanilla bean buttercream. All of the decorations are fondant. For the "mud" on the cake I used dark brown fondant with clear piping gel spread on top for a "muddy" look. I did not want to make chocolate frosting or brown royal icing just for that small patch.

This cake is FAR from perfect....but I'm practicing so that I can get better. I have a lot of work to do in order to get better...and one thing I need is patience which I tend to lack a lot of. Maybe cake decorating will help me get more patience....though I, nor anyone else should hold their breath on that :-)

Piggy cake and cupcakes. Chocolate cake with vanilla bean buttercream.

Three fat pigs have a good time!


Piggy cupcakes on the new cupcake tower my mom got me!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Creamsicle Cupcakes

This week I made Creamsicle/Oranges and Cream cupcakes. I figured it would be a good summer flavor. It has actually been a really long time since I've had a Creamsicle. I do remember them being very yummy though :-)

I did a orange/buttermilk cake. I added orange zest and fresh squeezed orange juice as well as orange food coloring. I made a cream center for the cupcakes using the same cream center I made for the Faux Hostess cupcakes using Marshmallow fluff and butter. For the frosting I used my favorite sturdy whipped cream frosting. I dyed half of the frosting orange and added a tiny bit of orange flavoring. Then I kept half of it white with no extra flavoring added.

These cupcakes are very tasty but I do think that next time I will add more orange flavoring to the cake part. I was a little afraid to add too much juice to the batter because I didn't know how it would affect the baking. These do taste and look a lot like the Creamsicle popsicle though!

I couldn't find actual Creamsicle popsicles at my local grocery store, so I bought the next best thing (though they don't taste nearly as good as Creamsicles!)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Butterbeer Cupcakes

I am a huge Harry Potter fan! I have read all the books, seen and own all the movies, and I have been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Island of Adventures in Orlando FL. This Sunday I am planning on seeing the movie with a friend of mine who is also a big HP fan....and I am very much looking forward to it!

I decided to celebrate the movie coming out by making butterbeer cupcakes. For those of you who are not HP fans, butterbeer is a popular drink in the books.  I got the recipe from Amy Bites blog. I also made actual butterbeer to drink while watching part I of the Deathly Hallows...I got that recipe from Mugglenet.

These cupcakes and the butterbeer turned out delicious! The Butterbeer is basically like a butterscotchy, creamy soda and the cupcakes also have a strong butterscotch flavor.

Butterbeer cupcakes and Butterbeer the tasty drink!

Yes, that is a Harry Potter wand....and yes it is mine....

The inside. There is a butterscotch ganache filling.

All packed up and ready to go!
Me with my butterbeer mustache at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Island of Adventure in Orlando FL.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Strawberry Cupcakes

Tomorrow a co-worker is having a birthday. Last week I made cupcakes for another co-worker. I did not post about those cupcakes because they were German Chocolate cupcakes which I've done a posting on before.

My co-worker said she would like strawberry cupcakes with strawberry buttercream like her grandma used to make (in cake form)....therefore I made exactly that (in cupcake form). These cupcakes are really tasty. They are really fluffy and have a good strawberry taste to them. For the cake I did a homemade white cake with strawberry gelatin mixed in for the nice pink color and flavor....then I added fresh cut strawberries (I'm soooo thankful for having a food processor!!!). In the past when I made this recipe as a cake, I did not have as much luck with the strawberry buttercream frosting. Because strawberries have so much moisture in them, my past buttercream attempts turned out more like a glaze instead of a sturdy frosting. This time I made it just right.  I chopped up the strawberries and drained them until any extra liquid was gone...then mixed them in with the butter and powdered sugar. Each cupcake has a fondant strawberry on top.

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Monday, July 4, 2011

List of Cupcakes That I've Made

I'm writing down a list of all the cupcakes that I've made. I am doing this out of boredom and it is a way to keep track of what I've been making. All the ones highlighted in purple are ones that are on this blog which you can click on and it'll take you to that posting. The * means the cupcake needs improvement.

  1. Chocolate with chocolate frosting
  2. chocolate with cream cheese frosting
  3. chocolate with peanut butter frosting
  4. Milky way
  5. turtle*
  6. hot fudge sundae
  7. chocolate mint (or Andes mint)
  8. dark chocolate with dark chocolate frosting
  9. German chocolate with coconut-pecan frosting
  10. better than sex cupcakes (German chocolate cake w/ caramel soaked in, light whipped frosting and walnuts sprinkled on top)
  11. Chocoholics dream cupcake (chocolate cake w/chocolate ganache filling, chocolate frosting, chocolate ganache drizzle, and shaved chocolate on top)
  12. s'mores
  13. marbled cupcake with chocolate and vanilla swirled frosting
  14. Neapolitan
  15. vanilla with vanilla buttercream
  16. chocolate Guinness cupcake with Irish cream frosting
  17. tiramisu with mascarpone frosting*
  18. cookies and cream
  19. snickerdoodle
  20. faux Hostess
  21. peaches and cream
  22. strawberry with cream cheese frosting
  23. key lime
  24. lemon raspberry
  25. lemon
  26. gingerbread
  27. eggnog
  28. white Christmas
  29. M&M*
  30. Boston cream*
  31. banana pudding*
  32. apples and peanut butter
  33. margarita
  34. dirt cupcakes (chocolate cake, chocolate pudding filling, chocolate frosting rolled in crushed Oreo crumbs)
  35. red velvet with cream cheese frosting
  36. carrot with cream cheese frosting
  37. coconut
  38. hummingbird
  39. root beer float
  40. sweet potato with cream cheese
  41. sweet potato with toasted marshmallow frosting
  42. caramel apple
  43. yellow cake with chocolate frosting
  44. chocolate covered strawberry
  45. pumpkin with cream cheese frosting
  46. Strawberry with strawberry buttercream
  47. Butterbeer Cupcakes 
  48. Creamsicle Cupcakes
  49. Chocolate w/ vanilla bean buttercream
  50. Lemon Meringue   
  51. Chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes
  52. Chocolate with Nutella buttercream

Sunday, July 3, 2011

4th of July Cupcakes

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY! I love this holiday! It is the epitome of summer. When I think of Fourth of July I think of ice cold drinks, watermelon, cooking out, sun, friends, fireworks, and red white and blue. I unfortunately, have no plans this year. My husband works on the Fourth, all my friends live far away, and then I have to wake up really early Tuesday morning for work. I'm just going to take it easy at home this year. Hopefully next year we'll be living in a house so then I can have a big shin-dig/cookout. Since my husband does have to work tomorrow, they are having a potluck. Of course this is my opportunity to make cupcakes!

I made vanilla cupcakes (my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe) with a regular vanilla buttercream. I dyed the batter red and blue and left some of the batter white. Then I painted the inside of my pastry bag with red food coloring on one side and blue food coloring on the other side to get the stripe effect. I used red, white, and blue colored sugar, nonpareils, and stars to decorate the tops of the cupcakes. I made my own American Flag cupcake finding an American flag clip art online, then printing on photo paper, and taping them to a toothpick.

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