Friday, June 22, 2012

Cupcakes For Two - Brown Sugar Vanilla

Ever get that late-night craving for cupcakes, but you don't want to make a whole batch? I have your solution!! I love brown sugar.. and I kind of wanted cupcakes.. but we have a birthday party tomorrow for my daughter, and there will be lots of goodies while there and leftover. Solution? Small batch cupcakes!! The original inspiration I found was for two cupcakes, which would have been perfect for hubby and I since the kidlets are in bed, however, we have an extra mouth tonight, so I decided to go the mini route. I love mini cupcakes. They're perfectly sized, and I got exactly what I wanted with just one. No need to over-do it! Hence, the birth of the small-batch brown sugar vanilla cupcake. If I had them, I would have also added some vanilla bean, but alas, I do not. If I would have thought about it, I would have also browned the butter before hand too. Someday, I will try these again with said modifications. For the moment though, they were a perfect fix. I think next time, I will also make some caramel whipped cream for the topping. 


1 egg white
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla 
1/4 cup flour
1/4 heaping tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tbsp heavy cream


Preheat oven to 325º. Fill an oven-safe container (I just used a cake pan) with about an inch of water, place on bottom rack.

In a bowl, whip egg white and brown sugar until frothy. Add butter and vanilla, mix well. Add flour, baking powder and salt, mix until just incorporated. Add cream and combine. 

Divide batter between 2 regular size cupcake liners or 9 mini liners. Your regular sized cupcakes make actually make 3, depending on how much you fluffed up your egg. Bake minis for 12-16 minutes, regulars for 15-20. Baking times may vary by oven.

I had some cookies n cream frosting left in my fridge from a recent batch of Chocolate Cheesecakes that I had used an Oreo crust on, so I just used that, but honestly, it would have been much better with just plain vanilla, or as discussed above, a caramel whipped cream frosting. MMM..

Sunday, June 17, 2012

White Sangria

My first attempt at salted caramel cupcakes (and a few thereafter) were such HUGE hits that I decided to play with it a bit. Not a lot, but enough that it warranted another blog about it. Chocolate + salted caramel = can't be too bad unless you're diabetic and/or have heart problems, right?

Anyways, I needed something spectacular to go with and off-set the sweetness of my chocolate salted caramel cupcakes. The hubs is a sangria fan, and I love the fruits that generally go into a white sangria. And ginger ale. MMM.. So, I decided it was time to give it a go.


1/2 of a ripe nectarine, chunked
1/2 of an orange, chunked
3-4 LARGE strawberries, chunked
10-15 ripe raspberries
4-6 Rainier cherries, halved and pitted
1/4 c sugar or Splenda
1 small lemon (or half of a large), sliced thinly and de-seeded
1 750ml bottle of white wine (I used Kestrel Pure Platinum)
Ginger ale / Club Soda / Lemon-lime soda


Toss fruit into a glass pitcher. Add sugar, toss to coat. Add wine, cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. You *can* drink it right away, but it won't be nearly as good as if you let the fruit and wine meld. When ready to serve, add gingerale. The ratio should be about 1/2 to 2/3 wine : 1/3 to 1/2 soda, depending on how much of the wine you want to taste. I do about half and half. Add ice and serve!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bacon Maple Cupcakes

I'm a bacon kinda gal. And it shows. More than it should. Needless to say, I hopped on the bacon craze train once it came rolling through with no hesitation. I won't go down the bacon booze road, and bacon mints make me gag (I worked for the company that made them for a Christmas season right after high school, and I spent a few hours tagging them one day.. I smelled like bacon and mint forEVER afterwards..). Give me a good piece of bacon though, and I'm a happy camper.. Unless you've got more and you're not sharing.. 

Okay, enough with my trying to stop myself from rambling about how much I love bacon.. These cupcakes are not traditional cupcake. They're actually closer to a sweet muffin. But I'm okay with that. Mostly because there's bacon involved. Bacon makes everything better. 


4 1/2 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 tbsp solidified bacon grease
1 egg
5 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp maple syrup
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1/4 cup milk
1/4-1/2 cup bacon crumbles

Maple Glaze:

1 c powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 c butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
3-4 tbsp maple syrup
2 c powdered sugar


I'm going to paste the original directions here. They're better than I could ever give you, folks.

What you’ll do–
* 1) Cook some bacon in a fry pan (about 6 thick strips). Reserve the drippings and place in the fridge to solidify. Mince 1/4 a cup of the bacon. The chef should eat whatever is left to assure that the bacon is tasty.
* 2) Beat the crud out of the butter and solidified bacon fat ’till light and creamy. Add the brown sugar and maple syrup and beat well until combined.
* 3) Add the egg and beat until incorporated.
* 4) Sift the flour, salt, baking soda and powder together.
* 5) Add some of the flour and mix, then some of the milk, then continue to alternate the dry and wet ingredients, ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in the bacon. Taste and add more maple syrup, flour, or milk if needed for desired taste. Keep in mind the maple frosting is very sweet, and to add in very small increments for alterations as maple syrup in large amounts can break a cake batter.
* 6) Scoop into cupcake papers and bake at 350 F for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Be sure to rotate the pan after the first 15 minutes for even baking.

Now for my part:

For the glaze, mix glaze ingredients together in a bowl. Dip cooled cupcakes in glaze, let excess drip off, let set for an hour or so.

For the frosting, cream butter and vanilla. Add powdered sugar and maple syrup, beat to desired consistency. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes. Garnish with bacon pieces and/or coarse sugar.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Boozy Zebra Cupcakes

I'm not a boxed mix kind of person. I much prefer to make things from scratch. Once in awhile though, I just want to do it from a box. Especially if I know something else in the process might take awhile, like this one. I also like to jazz the mix up a bit. Hence, the boozy part of these cupcakes. Now, they're not boozy in the sense that you feel drunk after eating them. They've just got booze for flavoring in them. I used whipped cream vodka to make the white cake a bit creamier tasting, and I used Kahlua and coffee for the Devil's Food cake. 

Zebra cakes are pretty intensive to make. Well.. Maybe not intense, just time consuming. And if you're anything like me, messy. They're worth the effort though. They turn out looking AWESOME. 
Look at the beauty! Check out the frosting too towards the end of the post. A zebra won't lose it's stripes! 


1 box Pillsbury Moist Supreme White Cake Mix
1 box Pillsbury Moist Supreme Devil's Food Cake Mix
1/4 cup whipped cream vodka
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup oil
6 eggs, divided
1/4 cup Kahlua
1/4 cup brewed coffee
1/2 cup oil
1 cup water


Preheat oven to 350º. 

In a medium bowl, mix together white cake mix, vodka, 3/4 cup water, 1/3 cup oil and 3 eggs until well combined. 

In another bowl, mix together devils food cake mix, Kahlua, coffee, 1/2 cup oil, 1 cup water, and the remaining 3 eggs until well combined. 

Line muffin tins with cupcake liners. I used both mini and regular sized for this recipe. It will make 24 regular cupcakes and 44 minis. Be prepared to share! 

Layer 1/2 tsp at a time in liners, alternating between chocolate and white cakes. The end product should look something like this:
They don't have to be perfect, by any means, but the stripes are best if you place each layer on top of the last. They'll spread out on their own from the weight of the layer above it. 

Bake the minis for 12-15 mins, regulars for 15-20. Let cool for 20-30 mins.

For the frosting, I used canned frosting. A shame, I know, but I really wanted to just make this easier. I did use a new technique I've been wanting to try out though - dual color/flavored frosting! I used a can of classic white frosting and chocolate fudge. This takes a total of 3 piping bags. 1 piping bag for each color, inserted into another bag. Make sure that the tips are down evenly in the outer bag, I learned that one the hard way. Finished product will look like:
(translation: cute)

If you wanted to make these even boozier, you could TOTALLY do a generic buttercream frosting for each color, using whipped cream vodka instead of milk in the white frosting and Kahlua in the brown!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Whipped Margarita

I'm a tequila girl. Through and through. Not the nasty dirty socks kind, I'm a silver tequila girl. I'm also a whipped cream vodka kinda girl. Why not combine the two? HECK YEAH!

Introducing: The Whipped Margarita.
Also introducing a major YUM factor.


1oz silver or blanco tequila
1oz whipped cream vodka
1oz triple sec or Grand Marnier
1oz sour mix
1oz lime juice


Build all ingredients in a collins glass over ice. Enjoy!

Another fun variation might be to add a float of grenadine for a whipped cherry margarita! MMMMMMMMMM. I'm sure you could also turn this into a delicious blended drink if you had a blender that crushed ice (unlike mine which just stirs the ice).