I don’t know if anybody has told you this, but you’re kind of a badass. Let’s start with 21 years ago: You were in labor for 36 hours WITHOUT pain medication for 32 of those hours- then you had to listen to me scream and cry for the six hours following that. I mean, wow. I could never do that.
From then on you were always listening to me blabber on about whatever, and answered all of my “who, what, where, when, why, and how” questions that still haven’t stopped. (I get if from dad- you know that.) People told you having only one must have been easy- but I still think that I took up the energy of three kids. You can swap stories with Mrs. Hura to figure that one out.
You put up with all of my crazy phases, from being convinced I’d someday be a child actor and driving me around to play rehearsals all the time, to listen to me try to make a sound on the flute for 12 weeks until I finally got it- and then you had to put up with my practicing for the next 12 years. (At least I finally got good at it!)
You’re pretty good at putting up with annoying things and always tell me that my creative endeavors are good- even if they’re not really. Thank you for complimenting all of my music performances telling me “You sound great!” No matter how hard I deny it, and telling me that this cake was beautiful even though all I see are the mess ups.
You’re pretty great, mom. I love you A TON A TON A TON even if I don’t say it enough- and I know I don’t. I appreciate everything you do, and for putting up with me and dad being so much a like. Thank you for all the sacrifices you have made the past 21 years for me.
I made this cake by halving the recipe I adapted from Baking Illustrated and used in many different cupcakerecipes and baking in two six inch cake pans. Between the layers is cookies ‘n’ cream pudding (leftover from some cookies I made), and used the rosette frosting technique from i am baker.
Need a simple, last minute treat for Easter? These cupcakes are perfect, and made simple by the use of a cake mix and store bought frosting.
These cupcakes have been on my mind for quite some time now, and I’m so glad I got around to actually making them! They look impressive, but they’re actually quite easy. All you need is a cupcake recipe (I used a Pillsbury box mix, but you can use a homemade recipe like this one) and some green frosting. Again, I used store bought, but you can used any recipe you prefer (Like this one with a few drops of green food coloring added in) just make sure you have at least two cups.
Other supplies you’ll need are a piping bag and a Wilton 233 piping tip, also known as a grass tip. I prefer to use a coupler for my frosting tips, but it is not completely necessary. I topped my cupcakes with Reese’s Pieces eggs, but you may certainly use mini cadbury creme eggs if that’s more up your ally.
If you don’t want to run out and buy a new pipping tip for these cupcakes, you could use a large round tip to decorate, or simply spread the frosting on with a spoon or knife. You can also just place the frosting in a piping bag or large zip top back and cut off the tip, and swirl the frosting on sans piping tip. I have never tried that myself, but I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t work.
To start, bake and cool your cupcakes according to frosting directions. If you’re opting to make your own frosting, make that while the cupcakes are cooling. Once the cupcakes are cool and the frosting is prepared, place the tip in your frosting bag, then the frosting. Gently squeeze the frosting onto the cupcakes with short “bursts” pulling up each time. making sure the majority of the cupcake is covered.
From my experience, it was a little harder at first to use the tip, but once the first cupcake is out of the way, it is much much easier! Writing this was a little hard for me, and I’m considering making a video showing how to decorate the cupcakes. Let me know if a video would helpful!
Today we’re starting the week off with a sugar coma. Sometimes you just need that, you know? This week is a very special week on the blog- it’s Pixie Dust Kitchen’s one year blogiversary… ish.
Technically, February is the blogiversary. However, I didn’t start seriously posting until March, when I left my internship at Walt Disney World and needed something to fill my time. So I threw myself into food blogging, and haven’t turned back (except to write papers).
So you don’t mind starting this week with a bunch of sugar to celebrate, do you? Good.
These cupcakes look hard, but they’re actually very easy. We start with a chocolate cupcake- I used the same recipe as my Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cupcakes, but you may use any recipe you prefer. I changed it up to make it a little easier and less complicated.
Next we make caramel! Don’t be scared- we’re taking a shortcut by using Kraft Caramel Bits*. Simply melt the caramel bits on the stove with two tablespoons of milk until you have a smooth caramel sauce. I tried to do this in the microwave, but it did not work, so unfortunately a stovetop is needed.
Once the cupcakes are cooled and the caramel sauce is made, cut a small portion out of the top of the cupcake. Sally from Sally’s Baking Addiction provides a good visual of filling cupcakes here. (about halfway down the post.) Pour some caramel into the center of the cupcake and place the part you cut out back in. Frost and drizzle with the remaining caramel sauce! I used a can of frosting (I know, the shame!) but feel free to use any you prefer. I used a Wilton 12 tip to pipe the swirls on, but feel free to spread the frosting on with a knife. The choice is yours!
Chocolate Cupcakes with peanut butter buttercream, topped with a pretzel.
My grandparents gave me the Cooks Illustrated Baking Book for Christmas, and this is the first recipe I made from it- and it’s a winner. (Of course it is, it’s America’s Test Kitchen!) However, being me and a food blogger, I couldn’t just let the recipe be as is- I had to change it up a bit! The original recipe calls for the butter and sugars to be creamed together. Well, I’m a bit lazy and didn’t want to drag out the stand mixer, and I knew I would need to make the frosting as well, so no stand mixer it was. I melted the butter on the stove and stirred in the chocolate and sugar.
I then mixed together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and salt), mixed in the wet ingredients (sugar, butter, and cocoa alternated with a mixture of milk and vanilla), added eggs, and bam! 2 bowls and a measuring cup, 7 minutes, and we have a cupcake batter, which is baked for 20 minutes. It’s just as easy as a cake mix!
The buttercream is the same frosting used for my death by peanut butter cookies, and is just as easy to make! I wanted to make some chocolate covered pretzels for the cupcakes, but again… got lazy and didn’t want to walk to the store to get melting chocolate, so I just stuck on plain pretzels. They’re just as good!
Taste breakdown: The cupcakes are soft, fluffy, and moist- no dense or dry cupcakes here! The frosting is sweet, but not too sweet. The trick is to use salted butter, add a dash of salt, and to use just enough confectioners sugar to add body, but not too much to make the frosting too sweet.
The recipe is originally for a two layer chocolate cake, and will make around 17 cupcakes.
Make these for your NYE party, or blaze ahead into the new year enjoying cupcakes and sweets! (All in moderation, of course.)
Doctored Cake Mix cookies made with melted ice cream and butter instead of water and oil.
Sinfully delicious, that’s what these are. I wanted to do something nice for the girls in my dorm who have birthdays, and being a baker, my first thought was cupcakes! I didn’t quite want to make a recipe from scratch; not having much time or resources with school and work.
So, I doctored a cake mix, and it’s still easy and just as good- not like those recipes that have 7-8 other ingredients and it would have been easier just to make the cake mix in the first place. This uses all of the ingredients from the box, but I replaced the oil with an equal amount of butter, and instead of using water, I used ice cream. Yes, I went there- Ice cream in cupcakes.
I didn’t make my own frosting either- I just used a can of duncan hines frosting creations. It was easy, good, and convenient.
These cupcakes are delicious, easy, and perfect when you want to doctor up a cake mix in a pinch! I freeze them unfrosted and pull them out when needed, letting them thaw before frosting.
Doctored cake mix cupcakes, made with butter and ice cream!
1 box chocolate cake mix
½ c butter
1 C chocolate ice cream, melted
frosting of choice
preheat oven to 350˚F.
Mix cake mix and ingredients (minus frosting) together.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
let cool before frosting.
Recipe was made with Pillsbury Devil's Food cake mix, and is written to reflect that. You may need to change measurement of ingredients to match box. (Replace oil with equal amount of butter, and water with equal amount of melted ice cream.)
The other day I went to Target to buy some clothes for my upcoming Disneyland trip- a dangerous thing to do the day you get hired at a new job. I ended up leaving the store with peanut butter, peanut butter chips, honey, pink lemonade frosting (because omg reasons)… and no clothes.
To celebrate finally finding a job (after two months of unemployment mixed with post disney depression), I made cake pops! Pink lemonade cake pops, in fact. Because what better way to celebrate finding a job and summer than to make a “summer” cake you can eat on a stick?
So let’s walk through how to make a cake pop. First you bake a cake- any cake you want. I used a Betty Crocker box mix for a yellow cake, but you can make any cake your heart desires- homemade, box mix, semi-homemade; just follow your heart. I figured since I was adding flavors, it didn’t matter what type. Just make sure you use an unflavored yellow or white cake.
Then, you crush it up into small pieces; add in frosting, and mix it all together until it’s sticky enough to roll into balls. I used about 3/4 of my can of frosting. I also added in a few teaspoons of lemonade mix to make the flavor stronger.
Roll into balls and chill for about an hour.
Melt your frosting; I used a makeshift double broiler with a cassorole dish and a pot of simmering water. We’ll be using white chocolate for the coating, and sprinkles, because how can we forget sprinkles?
I like to put some chocolate on the sticks before putting them in the pops because it holds better. Chill for 30 minutes after doing this.
Then you dip them in chocolate, coat them in sprinkles, and let them chill for 1-2 hours.
And there you have it- a wonderful summer treat for any occasion! It’s the middle of graduation season, (My cousin Beth graduated yesterday! Go Beth!) and I’m sure any graduate would appreciate these!
1 box yellow or white cake mix, plus ingredients on back of box.
1 can Pillsbury Pink Lemonade Frosting
2 tsp lemonade mix
1 package lollipop or cake pop sticks (can be found in most baking aisles or at craft stores.)
1 package white chocolate melting chocolate
Make cake according to instructions. Let cool, and break apart into crumbs.
Mix in frosting until cake can be rolled into balls without crumbling or falling apart. mix in lemonade.
Roll into balls and chill for 1 hour. While pops are chilling melt chocolate on stovetop, double broiler, or microwave. Dip in chocolate and insert into cake pops. Let chill for 30 minutes.
Dip pops into chocolate. coat on sprinkles. Let chill for 1-2 hours.
I’m SO over death by chocolate. I mean, it’s good and all, but if I’m going to die a food related death, I would rather die in the ooey, gooey, creamy/crunchy salty flavors of peanut butter. Yes please, that sounds divine.
And I know there are dozens of you out there who would agree.
I was thinking the other day about the abundance of Death By Chocolate desserts, and I started wondering… why is there death by chocolate EVERYTHING, but any peanut butter dessert has to be paired with other things? Why can’t peanut butter stand alone as the shining star it is? So I set out to find a combination of recipes that would do that.
I decided on cookie sandwiches A simple enough recipe to combine multiple peanut butter goodies. For the cookies, I halved the Soft Baked Cookie recipe I posted a few weeks ago. I also added an extra egg yolk and some corn starch to make the cookies softer and chewier.
I then stuffed the cookies with a homemade peanut butter buttercream, and rolled them in peanut butter chips. Pure bliss.
In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, and cornstarch. set aside.
In a large bowl combine the sugars in an electric mixer on medium speed. Add the butter and mix to form a grainy paste. Add eggs, peanut butter, and vanilla and mix until light and fluffy.
Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Do not overmix.
Chill well, at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 300˚.
Drop 2-teaspoon size rounds onto a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until cookies are slightly brown on the edges. Let sit for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
Spread frosting on cookies when completely cool, and roll in peanut butter chips.
To make frosting: Beat butter in an electric mixer on medium-high speed until creamy. Add peanut butter and mix until combined and fluffy. Slowly add in powdered sugar. Spread on cooled cookies and top with a second cookie before rolling in chips.
I’ve been staring at this post for the longest time, trying to figure out what to say about these cupcakes. It’s not that I can’t think of anything- it’s that I’ve thought of too much! I don’t know whether to start with how much my mother and I love Star Trek and are super excited about the new movie and how we were going to go see it together at midnight May 17 but then dad just HAD to book their flight to Barcelona a day earlier than planned so we can’t see it together until June (I’m going to go see it this week anyway), or whether to talk about how I made these for her on Mother’s Day with the help of Brian, and we all loved them?
(Side note: are we at that point yet where I can type in run-on sentences while nerding out about sci-fi yet?)
Although, this is a food blog, and the shining star should be, well, the food. So I’ll talk not about my nerdy family (which is AWESOME), nor about the occasion I made these for(Mother’s Day/ STAR TREK), and instead break these cupcakes down and talk about them. I started with a vanilla cupcake, tossed in some blueberries, and topped with a chocolate buttercream.
I thought of these cupcakes a few weeks ago after an entire day of watching cupcake wars and wanting to make some kind of dessert to celebrate the release of the movie. Rather than figuring out how to decorate the cupcakes all fancy-like, I just thought of “dark” flavors to put in. I used my favorite cupcake base from How Sweet it Is that I’ve used for other cupcakes, as well as modify the the buttercream to give it a nice chocolate-y takes. Dark dark dark. Like the new movie!
Makes 12 cupcakes.
For the Cupcakes:
1/2 c (1 stick) butter
1 C sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tbs Vanilla Extract
1 and 1/2 C flour
1/3 C milk
1/3 C frozen blueberries, thawed
For the frosting
1 C (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 and 3/4 C powdered sugar
3/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbs milk or heavy cream to thin, if desired
Preheat oven to 350˚. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.
Whisk together flour and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.
beat the butter and sugar together in a mixer until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until just combined. Add half of the dry ingredients and mix until combined; add the milk and stir, then add the rest of the ingredients. Fold in the blueberries.
pour into the prepared pans until about 2/3 full; bake for18-22 minutes or until the edges are golden, the centers are set, and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
To make the frosting: Sift together sugar and cocoa. Set aside. Beat the butter in a large bowl until creamy. Add the sugar/cocoa about 1/2 C at a time. If the frosting is too thick, slowly mix in cream until frosting has reached desired consistency. Spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes.
First of all, sorry for the absence the past few days. I’ve been busy with church events and haven’t had the time to devote to baking that I’d like to.
But, I did bake cupcakes for you!
I call these strawberry shortcake flavored because they’re not actually strawberry shortcake- I just slipped in a packet of Duncin Hines frosting creations! Those are super easy ways to not only flavor frosting, but also cookies, cakes, and cupcakes. It’s amazing what one little packet of flavor and coloring can do!
I used the same recipe I used for my funfetti cupcakes with cotton candy frosting- but I left out the sprinkles, and added a flavor packet. I also made the recipe a bit easier by melting the butter- now it can all come together without a mixer!
I was feeling particularly anti- mixer today, and didn’t use a homemade frosting for the cupcakes and just used a can that was sitting in our fridge. I know, shame on me. I just didn’t feel like dealing with the mixer.
These cupcakes got taken to church yesterday morning, and they got gobbled up! Everyone loved them. The usual donuts and bagels got skipped over in favor of these cupcakes.
Try drizzling with a vanilla glaze, or sprinkling with white jimmies for a Neapolitan look!
You know what’s great therapy? Baking. Saturday morning I baked a whirlwind of treats, including these cupcakes, which I made for a movie night at Brian’s house. The funfetti cupcakes are from a recipe I found over at Crazy for Crust, originally from How Sweet it is. The frosting is also adapted from that same recipe, but I changed it a bit to make it smooth and creamy, but also fluffy and with cotton candy flavor.
The cupcakes are moist and delicious, and taste just like they came out of a box. I definitely have a new favorite homemade cake recipe! The frosting is creamy, sweet, and tastes like cotton candy, but it isn’t overwhelming. I simply whipped the butter, slowly mixed in the the powdered sugar, and about 2 teaspoons of whole milk. Heavy cream would have made the frosting fluffier, but I didn’t have any on hand and I had no time to go buy some. The fluffier you want your frosting, the higher fat content you’ll want in your milk; hence why I chose to use whole milk, rather than 1% like I usually use. I also threw in a pinch (or two!) of salt, simply to cut the sweetness so it wasn’t too overwhelming. I find that, while I have a VERY sweet tooth, some frostings are so sugary and sweet I feel like my teeth are rotting as I eat. (Lovely description, I know.) I don’t find that very pleasant, so I add salt. After the frosting was made, I mixed in one packet of Dunken Hines frosting creations mix; naturally I used cotton candy flavor. However, you could use any flavor you want- I’m sure they’re all fantastic!
Here’s the recipe:
(yields 12 large cupcakes)
For the cupcakes
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup sprinkles, plus more for decoration if desired.
preheat muffin tin to 350. line muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.
whisk together flour and baking powder in a medium bowl; set aside.
beat the butter and sugar together in a mixer until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until just combined. Add half of the dry ingredients and mix until combined; add the milk and stir, then add the rest of the ingredients. Fold in the sprinkles.
pour into the prepared pans about 2/3 full and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
To make the frosting: Beat the butter in a large bowl (i used the bowl of my stand mixer; but used my hand mixer to make the frosting) until creamy. mix in the powdered sugar; about 1/2 cup at a time. mix in the vanilla. If the frosting is too thick, mix in the milk/cream about 1 teaspoon at a time until it has reached desired consistency. Mix in the packet of flavoring with a spoon or rubber spatula, and spread onto cooled cupcakes.