July 21, 2011

Blueberry Wine Cake

I made this dessert for a Memorial Day cookout with friends. It was refeshing, yummy and very easy to make. Since the glaze on the cake has wine in it that isn't cooked out, it is NOT a dessert for anyone under 21 years of age. At least not in the state of Indiana. I hope you enjoy this as much I do!


1 box white cake mix
1 box (3 ounce) Berry Blue Jell-O mix
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup "good" blueberry wine
4 eggs
1/2 cup pecans


1/2 stick butter - room temperature (cold butter won't work)
1/2 cup blueberry wine
1/4 box of powdered sugar (1/4 pound by weight)


Grease and flour the bottom of a bundt pan or other pan. Line bottom of pan with 1/2 cup of pecans. Mix all ingredients for the cake mix and pour over top of pecans. Bake at 350 degree for 50-60 minutes for bundt pan. Once cake is done, poke holes in the cake witha toothpick or fork and pour glaze mixture over hot cake. I like to use a skewer to poke the holes...more of the glaze gets into the cake that way. Once the cake had cooled, I filled the middle opening of the bundt cake with fresh blueberries.

**Note: Make sure glaze mixture isn't too warm and runny - like if you heated the butter in the microwave. I did this because my butter was cold and the glaze ingredients weren't mixing together right. This made it too runny and the glaze was so liquified that it mostly ran off the cake instead of slowly melting into the holes.

You can make this cake with just about any flavor of wine that you like. Just use the appropriate flavor of Jell-O to match the flavor of your wine as close as possible. If you use strawberry wine, then use strawberry flavored Jell-O, blackberry wine, you would still use the berry blue Jell-O, etc.

July 14, 2011

Red Velvet Twilight Cake

I made this lovely, blood red, red velvet birthday cake for the daughter of a friend last year. She's a HUGE Twilight fan. Just like me. Since she loves Twilight so much (we've had Twilight marathons) I thought it only appropriate to give her a really cool cake that I knew she'd love just as much as the movies. And to make it even cooler...more "vampire" like, I made red velvet cake. Alice and Jacob are her two favorite characters so I made sure to put "Team Alice" and "Team Jacob" on the cake along with Kierra's name and "Twilight." I painted them on in gold in the "Be Safe" script.

Naturally I HAD to take a picture of the inside of the cake as well. It was just too cool not to. Yes, I'm weird. And yes, I'm obsessed with vampire novels...and cake, lots of cake. I made a 16" round double layer cake for the bottom tier and the top is a 4 layer 8" square cake. I was going for some "WOW" factor with this cake. I'm pretty proud of this cake and I had a blast making it.

Happy Birthday Kierra!

July 13, 2011

Pistachio Cupcakes

I made these for the daughter of a friend last year. They were soooo good. Everyone seemed to like them quite well. I ended up making her an awesome Twilight themed cake but that's another story I haven't yet posted.


1 (18.25 oz.) pkg yellow cake mix
2 (3.2 oz) pkgs instant pistachio pudding mix
1 cup water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs


In a mixing bowl, combine dry cake and pudding mixes, water, oil and eggs. Beat on low speed for 1 minute. Pour into a greased 9-inch or 10-inch fluted tube pan. Or in my case muffin tins lined with cupcake liners.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Adjust the baking time for cupcakes. I can't recall how long I baked these as cupcakes as it was last year when I made them. I would use the baking time suggested for cupcakes on the cake mix box as a guideline.

I topped the cupcakes with a pistachio buttercream. I used a standard buttercream recipe replacing the vanilla, almond and butter flavorings with pistachio flavoring instead.

Happy Baking,

July 12, 2011

Adding Recipes

Good evening everyone! I just wanted to let ya'll know that I'm working on adding recipes to their respective posts. So far I've added the Cherry Limeade Cupcakes and the recipes needed for the Black Forrest Cupcakes. Recipes and credits are listed at the bottom of the post.

I'm looking forward to having more posts for ya'll soon. Until then, Happy Baking!


July 10, 2011

Black Forrest Cupcakes!

My niece Kayla came to visit us for a week before she had to start college classes again. I always try to bake something with her while she's here and since her birthday was the following week she picked out these for her birthday cupcakes.

This is my lovely niece Kayla. We baked Devil's Food Cupcakes and topped them with chocolate ganache. Kayla especially likes the ganache...can you tell? 
Once the ganache sets up and cools down on the cupcakes, we topped them with homemade whipped cream mixed with a wonderful dark cherry sauce topped with a stemmed cherry. They were so darn yummy the whole batch was gone in 24 hours. So naturally we had to make another batch. Recipe to follow in a separate post. I hope you all enjoy making and eating these as much as my family did! 

Devil's Food Cupcakes:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter together until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the water and buttermilk, beating on low speed until just combined; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat on medium-high speed just until no traces of flour remain, about 30 seconds; do not overbeat.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
Spoon the chocolate glaze over the cupcakes. NOTE: I found that spooning the glaze over the cupcakes didn't work so well for me. I actually dipped the tops of the cupcakes into the ganache, swirling them around the edges of the cupcake to cover the entire top of each cupcake. Then I held the cupcakes sideways and let the excess run/drip off. I found that this leaves a shiny, smooth ganache topped cupcake. Aesthetically it just looks better.

Rich Chocolate Glaze:

1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp light corn syrup
Pinch salt
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

Makes about 1 3/4 cups.

In a small saucepan combine the cream, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate, and let stand for about 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Let cool to room temperature and use right away. (The cooled glaze can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days; before using, soften the glaze by gently heating it in a heatproof bowl set over, but not touching, simmering water in a saucepan.)

Dark Cherry Whipped Cream:

1 1/2 cups fresh Bing cherries, pitted and cut in half, plus 12 whole unpitted cherries with stems for garnish
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp kirsch
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 tbsp confectioner's sugar

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the halved cherries, granulated sugar, and kirsch. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cherries soften and the juice becomes syrupy 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour or for up to 1 day.

In a bowl, combine the cream and confectioners' sugar. Using an electric mixer on low speed, beat until slightly thickened, 1-2 minutes. Gradually increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the cream holds soft peaks, 2-3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the cherry mixture into the whipped cream, leaving streaks of red. Top the glazed cupcakes with the cherry-whipped cream mixture, garnish each with a whole cherry and serve.

All recipes listed are from: "Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunski. Luscious bakeshop favorites from your home kitchen."

July 7, 2011

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

So I made these cherry limeade cupcakes as part of our Mother's Day celebration. First recipe I've tried for the cherry limeade cupcakes. They turned out very pretty but I need to find a way to get more cherry flavor into the finished product. These are limeade cupcakes with maraschino cherry icing. I love the way they look but perhaps if I switch the flavors of the cake & icing they will have more of a punch of cherry taste. Enjoy!

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes:

Makes about 24 cupcakes.

3 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp limeade concentrate
3 eggs
3/4 cup plain yogurt (you can use milk)


Preheat over to 350 degrees.
Mix together the flour, salt, baking soda and pwder and set aside. In a medium sized bowl, cream the butter until smooth then add the sugar and cream together. Once the butter and sugar are creamed add in the limeade concentrate. Mix in one egg at a time. Add in flour mixture 1/3 at a time. When flour is thoroughly mixed, mix in the yogurt (or milk.) Batter will be slightly lumpy but should be smooth kind of like pancake batter. Divide the batter evenly into lined muffin tims and bake for about 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, poke a few (5-ish) holes in the top of the cupcake, not quite to the bottom of the cake. Mix together the remainder of the limeade concentrate (about 3/4 cup.) Whisk the mixture well, so there aren't any lumps. Pour about a tablespoon of the syrup over the holes in the cupcake, slowly, so that the syrup absorbs into the cake. You can add more if you like, just go back over the cupcakes a second tiem if there is any syrup left.

For the icing I made a standard buttercream, but I used the maraschino cherry juice in place of the milk and vanilla extract. I added a little extra food colouring to the icing ot make it even more pink. Cupcakes are better when cold.

July 3, 2011

I'm here...really, I am.

I know it's been a long while since I've posted anything. That doesn't mean I've not been baking things, because I have, really I have. I've been working on some posts today but for some reason I can't seem to get my pics to upload from my laptop to the site. So I'll keep trying and when I'm able to get the pictures to cooperate, I'll publish the posts. I also discovered today that I either had a piece of adware, spyware or a virus that was jackin' with my text and my mouse. Everything I typed was showing up in reverse order and when I tried to type in a different webpage address to see if it was just that one page, the cursor was backing up one space at a time, no matter where I clicked, it backed up and then it started putting in the address to web sites that I wasn't typing!

After some time spent updating my anti-spyware and anti-malware software programs and then running them, I was able to "fix" the issue (at least it seems I have) and am working on getting things back up and running and posting some new things for you all!

Much cupcake love to you all!

June 7, 2011

Grandma's 89th Birthday Cupcakes - February 12, 2011

Yesterday we celebrated Grandma's 89th birthday. She is the matriarch of our family, has been for quite some time now, and she's wonderful at it. She deserves as much fun and love as I can give her on her birthdays, so I spoil her with her birthday cake. In this case it was birthday cupcakes.

Here's Grandma B with her birthday cake from last year. Unfortunately I was a bit scatterbrained yesterday and didn't get any pictures of her with her birthday cupcakes when she was enjoying them. Normally one of my cousins and my dad are both there with their more "professional" style cameras taking pictures. The cousin didn't bring his camera this time and my dad had to stay home because he has a virus and didn't want to take the chance of giving it to Grandma B. I should have been paying better attention and taken as many pictures as I could.

I borrowed the idea for these cupcakes from Bakerella's website and put my own spin on it. She has great instructions for making her "milkshake cupcakes" on her site. I would have loved to have made them exactly as she did but changed the flavors and ingredients as were necessary due to dietary restrictions.

First, I made the vanilla cupcakes in the clear silicone baking cups only filling them half full. This is very important because the sauce has to fit inside the silicone cup. Regular baking cups won't work - too soft.

Grandma likes raspberries so I used some red raspberries I picked in our backyard to make the raspberry sauce. Isn't that color gorgeous?  The sauce was quite yummy. 

I also used some strawberry freezer jam for half of the cupcakes because grandma LOVES strawberries.

The raspberry sauce and the strawberry jam were used in place of the chocolate ganache that Bakerella used in her version. I simply spooned the sauce on top of the cupakes being careful not to over fill them. Otherwise your cup runneth over!


Raspberry on the left and strawberry on the right.

The next part is fairly easy. I topped all the cupcakes with vanilla buttercream. Instead of using the cute paper straws that Bakerella used, mainly because I didn't have them, I made these cute sugar cookie spoons. I piped blue "B's" on them to mimick Grandma B's silverware and stuck a spoon into each of the cupcakes.  

So, you wanna see the finished cupcakes? Huh? Do you REALLY want to see them?

Ok, ok!

April 3, 2011

Cake Pops - Attempt II

Epic Fail #2. Somehow I just don't think cake pops are in my future. This was my second failed attempt at making cake pops. Actually, I'd have been happy to have succeeded at making cake balls correctly. Didn't get that part right either. It looked like it was much better than my original attempt but still too moist. The sticks were tearing through the cake balls. They were coming apart in my icing. They just don't seem to be working for me. Maybe I'll stick to actual cakes and cupcakes. We'll see. You never know what I'll do. Right now I was hoping to make some for Easter. Looks like I'll be making something else.

March 23, 2011


I need some feedback here. I want to try to make a "new" cupcake flavor. New for me anyway.  I'm borrowing some flavor combinations that sounded really good to me. My favorite is Cherry Limeade, but I'm also considering a chocolate malt cupcake and possibly a margherita cupcake. What does everyone else think?

Wish I knew how to set up a poll on here. That would be so much easier! LOL...one of these days I'll get it figured out.

March 22, 2011

Random Things of Happiness

Hello all! Sorry I've not posted much lately. No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth. It's the busy season for me at work, add stress and just personal issues to go along with that and I've not done much to blog about nor felt like looking at the laptop after working on a computer all day.

Here's a few little "somethings" that brought me some happiness during the past several weeks of craziness. Much love to my cousin M, my bestie SMD and my mom for being my rocks and anchors when I felt like the boat was sinking. I love you all.

This is my new apron my wonderful mom gave me. Isn't it just the CUTEST? Little, sparkly cupcakes all over. And it's reversible too. The other side has coordinating stripes like the ones along the bottom of this side and two cute little pockets. I love it! The glittery sparkles will probably come off in the wash a little each time it's washed, but it will still be fabulous, sparkely or not.

This is my souvenir my honey brought back for me when he went to a haunted halloween convention in St. Louis, MO a couple weekends ago. I love, love, love monkeys and he saw this little guy and knew it was perfect for me. Inside the rim it says "Have fun monkeying around." I very much enjoy having hot tea in the evenings and coffee in the mornings and this mug is the perfect size. It's lightweight and sooo adorable! Yep, he did good picking this out. It was accompanied by a pumpkin spice flavored lip balm. Pumpkin is one of my absolute favorite flavors. It's the best thing about fall every year.

My niece Kayla came to stay with us for several days while she was on Spring Break from college. We don't get to see her very often and I like to try to bake something with her when she's here. Usually she reaps the rewards of our efforts because we send her back to college with goodies. I reap the benefit of getting to spend time with her. These are Apricot Pecan Thumbprint cookies. They were simple to make, didn't take a lot of time and are really good. The recipe called for peach but I didn't have that, so I used apricot instead. I can't remember off the top of my head where the recipe came from. I found it online somewhere. Maybe Pillsbury's or All Recipes websites. I can't recall but they were delicious. We also made smokey four cheese mac-n-cheese which just lit her entire demeanor up. LOL...I've NEVER seen anyone that excited about Mac-N-Cheese. She had to text her friends about it. Don't worry, she took home a container full of the stuff.

That's all for now. Hopefully I'll have more to post in the weeks to come. I'm wanting to make a second attempt at making cake pops. Last time I wasn't successful with making just the cake balls. I've learned a few things since then, things being done incorrectly, wrong amounts, etc. So I'm about ready to give it another go and see how well they turn out this time. Let's keep our collective fingers crossed they actually turn out this time!

Lots of love to you all and keep on baking! I'd love to see what's been cooking in your "laboratories!"

February 3, 2011

Mocha Latte Cupcakes with Double Shot Latte Buttercream - February 2, 2011

Mmmmm...doesn't that look really good? This is the "Chosen One." Ha ha, it's the one I chose to taste test and I wasn't disappointed this time. Thanks go out to Cousin Maria, she found this recipe in Southern Living Magazine, February 2010 issue. You can find their website here. Just click on the "The Magazine" tab, then choose Magazine Archive. Lots of good stuff on their site.

The cupcake is simply chocolate but the frosting has the latte flavor to it. The recipe called for 1 1/2 tablespoons of instant espresso and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. I used espresso powder, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 teaspoon of pure coffee extract. Figured if I substituted one of the teaspoons of vanilla with a teaspoon of the coffee extract it would punch up the flavor a bit. Personally, I really like it and it has just the right amount of sweetness to it too. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top and voila, perfecto! You could also sprinkle any number of toppings that you like on them. Some suggestions were chocolate shavings or cocoa powder, chocolate covered espresso beans or just a coffee bean. For those of you who like a little spicy kick to your chocolate, you could try some cayenne pepper or maybe a sprinkle of mexican chocolate. One of these days I'm gonna have to try that.

I'm not sure why but the recipe made 36 regular size cupcakes. It was only suppose to make 24. The recipe said the batter would be thick. "Thick" didn't come close to properly describing the consistency of the cake batter but they baked up just fine.

Since I had so many cupcakes, I sent some to work with my mom. Her co-workers really liked them. I'm glad she works with a wonderful bunch of people. I mean really, could you not send some if you had THIS MANY? 

February 2, 2011

You Know It's Bad When.... - February 1, 2011

Yikes! You know it's bad when...the cupcakes stick to the paper baking cups, white chocolate ganache didn't do anything for them, and not even the frosting could salvage a decent compliment...and that's from the baker herself!

I was trying to change up a strawberry cupcake recipe by substituting blackberries for the strawberries in the recipe. Oh noooooo. BLECH! Can you say NASTY??? I did, that's right, 100% nastiness. I wouldn't feed those things to anyone's dog. They need a Mr. Yuck sticker.

In all fairness it could very well have been my own fault. I halved the recipe since I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out and I didn't want to make a bunch of cupcakes that no one would eat. I'm wondering if maybe some of my division on the measurements weren't correct.

Mis-Adventure of the Mocha Cupcakes - January 27, 2011

I wanted to make these mocha cupcakes, they sounded really good. They looked really good when they were done but I didn't particularly like the cake or the frosting. It called for dutch process cocoa powder which I thought I had, but I didn't, so I used the special dark cocoa powder that I did have on hand. That might have been the downfall of the cake part. It was too dry for my taste. The frosting was meringue and not sweet enough for me. I don't care for sickening sweet frostings but this one REALLY needed just a bit more sugar. It did have a wonderful coffee flavor. It was nice & strong, you KNEW it was coffee "buttercream." Pretty, but I'll have to tweak the recipe a bit before I like them.

January 30, 2011

Coconut-Lime Cupcakes January 20, 2011

On January 20th, 2011 we were blessed with a winter storm. I know, I know...I usually don't consider a winter storm a blessing but this one allowed me to stay home and make these wonderful Coconut-Lime Cupcakes for my aunt's birthday. Oh they were soooo good. In fact, one of my cousins was jealous she didn't get any so I promised I'd make her some when she came to visit us. Naturally, she loved them!

What can I say? They speak for themselves. Coconut-lime cupcakes with coconut frosting...mmmm. Here's a visual to help you out.

Yes, that's a pretty big mug, noooo the cupcake isn't actually that tiny.

Here's my progress, in pictures of course.

First, I baked my cupcakes and cored them with a cute little gadget I got at Williams & Sonoma. It's called the Cuisipro Cupcake Corer. You can click on the above link to go to their webpage. It's a fantastically simple tool, hand operated, easy to wash and it works great on standard size cupcakes or muffins. I haven't tried using it on jumbo cupcakes, so I cannot say how well it would do with such a large medium. I really like that it's quick and simple to operate.

Cuisipro Cupcake Corer 

Then I filled them with some wonderful lime curd. First time I've ever made any kind of curd. Truthfully, making lime curd always sounded like a daunting task. In my head I was always thinking "that sounds like it would be very complicated to make and it probably takes a lot of time." In reality it's fairly simple and actually quite easy to make. My next flavor of curd that I plan on making is grapefruit. Yep, you heard me, grapefruit curd. There's a nice recipe that actually sounds interesting enough that I'm just going to have to try it to say I at least attempted it, and either liked it or not. I'm actually hoping that I'll like it. I'm not a big grapefruit fan at all.

Finally I piped coconut buttercream frosting on them and then sprinkled coconut flakes on top of the buttercream.  Absolutely lovely cupcakes and the only person that wrinkled their nose up at them was my boyfriend. After 7 years together he finally says he doesn't like lime. Go figure!

January 1, 2011

Chai & Honey Cupcakes

I got a new cupcake "cookbook" if you will, on my birthday and decided to make one of the recipes for a get-together on New Year's Eve. They looked simple to make and I've always wanted to try making chai flavored cake. I used one of the new teas I bought at Teavana so I didn't have to use 3 servings worth, I only used 2 but brewed it according to the recipe directions.

Baking was a tad worrisome because there was some kind of liquid bubbling up out of the middle of every cupcake. I suspect it was part of the honey that was in the batter (the batter was very runny too.) I put them back in the oven and let them bake a couple minutes longer. That seemed to do the trick. I cooled them and then made the honey whipped cream topping right before we were to leave for the party. Transporting them "frosted" wouldn't have worked out too well so I finished them once we arrived. They looked and tasted really good!

December 16, 2010

Cake Balls - Blah!

A friend of mine introduced me to a cool website called Bakerella. She specializes in cake pops which are balls of cake on sucker sticks. I thought they'd be good to take to our Christmas party at work. Then I got to thinking that having this stick taking up room on your plate might be kind of annoying. I decided to do cake balls instead. I've never made cake pops or cake balls before and I thought a practice run would be a good idea.

Should have been...

I had some ugly looking cake balls. I quit after making only 12, they were pitifully ugly. Dad said they tasted "great" but I wasn't happy that they were ugly. I must have gotten too much icing in the cake and it was doing weird things to my melted chocolate. The cake balls wouldn't even freeze! This is something that's gonna take practice. Next time I try to make some I'll use a can of store-bought icing so I use the correct amount. I used my own cream cheese icing this time. Oh well...gives me an excuse to make them again!

The office will probably be getting peppermint cupcakes for the party! I KNOW those are good!

Happy baking until my next adventure (or disaster!)