Monday, June 29, 2009

My very first giveaway! **has ended, winner will be announced later today**

I went to Seattle with my girlfriends this past weekend and saw this store full of awesome, cool stuff! As I was paying for some candles, I saw a container full of these small cupcakes! Its filled with lipgloss inside. It reminded me of the June Iron Cupcake Challenge: Summer Berries! So I bought one to give away to one lucky reader=)
My very first giveaway!
I don't have many readers, so the odds are good! Since this prize hardly weighs a thing, I am allowing my international readers to try and win this. The cupcake lipgloss container is right beside a standard sized business card so you can see just how small it is. It's really cute & small enough to fit in a small purse or pocket. I am using a random number generator to choose the winner. Your comments are numbered when you post. Here is what you need to do:

1. Leave a comment (only once please) that
answers this question: What is your favorite comfort food?
2. Leave me a link to your blog or email so I can contact you in case you win.
3. Vote for 3 of your favorite cupcake entries for the June Iron Cupcake Challenge. (It doesn't have to be mine- but it would be oh so nice if it was!!! It's the last 2 choices on the list=P)
****The deadline will be Monday-July 6, noon (Pacific Time)****
The winner will be posted the following day. Thanks everyone and good luck=)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

June Iron Cupcake Earth Challenge: Summer Berries

Hi all=) Yes, another contest i've decided to partake in this month. This will be my second time doing an Iron Cupcake Earth Challenge. My first Iron Cupcake Challenge Ingredient was Basil. I didn't win that challenge and i'm just hoping for the best with this one- but, regardless if I win or not, I enjoyed making these cupcakes! I hope some of you have also entered in this challenge too- its a great way to experiment with ingredients you wouldn't otherwise think of trying (although berries are much more common to use than some of the other ingredients they've chosen for the other challenges). The other benefit of joining this is the networking!

Okay, i'm done rambling. Here is my first entry:

Chocolate Berry Surprise Cupcakes

I called it Chocolate Berry Surprise because I dipped fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries) in dark chocolate and placed them in the middle of each cupcake. The cupcake either had one type of berry or a variety- so it was a surprise to the person who ate it. The cross section photo was taken while the cupcake was still warm so the whipped cream was melting onto the center. It is- and was VERY delicious. This won't be the last time I make it i'll tell you that=) Recipes for both these cupcakes will follow towards the end of the post if your interested.

and my second entry is this:

Blueberries & Cream Cupcakes

Blueberries & Cream cupcakes
Cross section of Blueberries and Cream Cupcake
Oh boy! These too were a treat to make! The cupcake batter had a whole cup of whipping cream in it! I think that is what made it very fluffy and so moist- oh and I can't forget about the fresh blueberries and its juice! (Tell you more about it in the recipe part of this). I topped the cupcake with a Greek Honey Yogurt and drizzled it with Raspberry Honey that I just bought days ago at my local Farmer's Market. I finished it off with a sprinkling of dried blueberries. These are soooo good! It's okay if you have more that one. Don't think about all the cream, butter, or sugar in it- think about all the antioxidants that the blueberries have=)

Okay, so those are my 2 entries. This is the part where I say what the prizes are (and I would really love to have- I will share part of it too- with one of my 8 subscribers. hahahaha. Gotta love those odds. I have given up on the big number of subscribers, i'm just lucky to have any readers. Thank you! I appreciate all of you!). Okay, i'm back on track...the prizes are:

June ETSY PRIZE-PACK is from artists:
A sweet cupcake ID bracelet by INSANEJELLYFISH,
A groovy linocut piece from BLOCKHEAD PRESS
A sweet surprise from Sweet Cuppin' Cakes Cupcakery,
An awesome piece from CAKESPY,
Last and certainly not least, the corporate prize providers for Iron Cupcake: Earth: HEAD CHEFS by FIESTA PRODUCTS, HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, JESSIE STEELE APRONS; TASTE OF HOME books; a t-shirt from UPWITHCUPCAKES.COM .
Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers .

Voting starts June 28- July 6.

Now for the recipes:

Chocolate Berry Surprise Cupcakes

Before I made the cupcake batter, I got the berries ready.
You will need:
A variety of fresh berries and chocolate chips:

Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat it up in 20 second increments, stirring it often to disperse the heat & have it melt equally.
It looks ready, now drop the berries in and get ready to fish! Actually, I recommend doing 3-4 at a time because it gets really clumpy when you put too many in at once. You'll see later.

Pretty messy, but so worth it. Place the berries on parchment paper and them place them in the refrigerator to cool and harden. You see that huge clump on the bottom left? I put too many in at once. The chocolate cooled too fast and it started to get too thick. I didn't want to place it in the microwave to warm it again because the berries were already in the chocolate and they were too fragile. So while that is cooling, you have time to make the cupcakes.

For the Chocolate cupcake,
I used Martha Stewarts version of her Classic Chocolate Cupcake. I changed one thing since I didn't have the regular unsweetened cocoa powder. Instead, I used Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder.

Makes 18

3/4 cup Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners.
Into a medium bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each, then beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with sour cream and beginning and ending with flour.
Pour batter into cups. I used a tablespoon scooper. I placed a tablespoon of batter in each cup, placed one or two chocolate covered berries, then placed another tablespoon full of batter on top of it. It should be about 3/4 full. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes.** Obviously you can't stick a toothpick in the center to check for doneness because of the chocolate covered berry in the center. I just checked if the dome top of the cupcake was done by checking its firmness. It was about 20 minutes in my oven**
Cool in pan 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Use any topping you desire, but I used whipped cream out of the can and topped it with chocolate chips.

Blueberries and Cream Cupcake recipe

I found this recipe browsing online and stumbled upon the blog Cupcakes and Crinoline. She found the recipe through Gail Wagman's Cupcakes Galore book. I am so glad I found it because this recipe is a winner as well. I am going to try to substitute the blueberries for strawberries next weekend. We'll see how well that turns out.



2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup/1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup milk or light cream

3/4 cup blueberries {if you are using frozen blueberries, defrost beforehand}, plus 1/2 cup frozen or fresh blueberries

1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.

In large electric mixer bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately, add dry ingredients and milk or cream.

Using a fork, crush 3/4 blueberries with 1 tablespoon water until they are soft. ***I was wondering why this was done, and I figure that if you don't crush them, it will burst during the baking process. Don't skip this step or you might have one big hot mess***

Spoon batter into cupcake papers, filling cups about 2/3 full. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool. **Keep an eye on it, make sure to check it after 20 minutes don't expect the tops to be browned, just check for doneness. Mine baked until 24 minutes and it was perfect**.


For the topping, this is what I used:

Greek Honey Yogurt
Local Raspberry Honey (use any kind of honey you want)
Dried Blueberries

Basically, I just spooned some yogurt on top, drizzled the honey, then topped it with the dried blueberries. Easy Peasy=)

Make some today, they are both really yummy cupcakes. I wouldn't enter if they weren't. Feel free to message me if you have any questions or need any clarification.
Strawberry on Foodista

What a nightmare!

This month's Iron Cupcake challenge is Summer Berries. I had a couple of mishaps as I mentioned in my previous blog about one of my potential cupcake entries. I was going to do an Upside Down Strawberries & Champagne cupcake, but that didn't turn out as planned. I was rushing and it turned into one hot mess! It was also totally experimental. It looked good when I was preparing it before it went into the oven. Lets take a look shall we?

Sliced fresh strawberries, they look so good!
Here is some macerated strawberries. I cooked it with some champagne and sugar to make it more like syrup. Still looks pretty good. The other pics are irrelevant since I won't be posting the recipe and steps to this disastrous experiment. The next pic is the cupcakes cooling. Wait for it...wait for it......

Oh the horror!
I should have stopped then and there, but nooooo~ I wanted to take it further. "Lets try to make it work" I think to myself. "It might actually taste good". Ummm....are you ready?
Barf. about a different topping?
I give up on this cupcake. This next picture isn't actually all that bad.
So I tasted it. Yuck. It was the cupcake batter. The strawberries with the champagne tasted wonderful. The cupcake batter was just horrible. Scratch that idea. Oh, I forgot to mention that the batter made 18 cupcakes, but I only baked 6 in my cupcake pan. The rest I put them in little cake pans- put it about 3/4 full- it overflowed out of the baking pans! My oven was getting all smoky and so was the house. Oh my goodness it was just a disaster. I didn't have time to take pictures. I had to take out the pans throw them into the sink and start cleaning the inside of the hot oven so it didn't get so smoky inside. Never again. Okay, maybe sometime in the future I will try it again and find the perfect recipe for it- but for now, i'm gonna have to pass on that.

My next post will be the cupcakes I will be entering=)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Olivia & Emily the Strange Cupcakes

Olivia & Emily the Strange Cupcakes

I had a few extra cupcakes from my "Iron Cupcake Trials"- they turned out pretty good, but I have one more recipe that I have to try out before I post it. In the meantime, here are 2 book characters that I decided to try out painting. Olivia the Pig & Emily the Strange.

This is my first time using petal dust and color gel + lemon extract to paint on fondant. I'm sorry I couldn't take more pictures or do a whole tutorial for this as it was my first time and i'm certainly no pro at it. But, here is one picture that shows you in a glimpse how I did it and what tools I used.


I am working on doing the Hoops & Yoyo tutorial because a reader from Sweet Cuppin Cakes Bakery blog requested it. Painting on fondant takes a lot of time- i'm glad I picked book characters that used only 2 colors! I have my one year old to watch, so its difficult to try to work fast and at the same time take good photos that explain what i'm doing. I have to save that for the weekends when my husband is home and can watch our baby. Tutorials will be coming up though~ just keep checking back.

Visit their websites Olivia the Piglet & Emily the Strange.
**to be honest, I have never read any of the Emily books, but I saw the book while at Barnes & Nobles, it really caught my eye. As for the Olivia books, I have a few~ it's my daughter's name=) **

Sunday, June 14, 2009

They have arrived!!!!

First, I just want to thank all of you for your votes on the Ice Cream Cupcake Roundup~ whether you voted for my cupcakes or not. I really appreciate you just stopping by here. I am over-the-moon ecstatic that I have more readers and subscribers to my little food blog=) The winners have been posted and you can visit Scoopalicious for the results. I will definitely try again next year and I hope you will too! It really is fun trying to incorporate different themes into a cupcake- that's why i'm going to do the Iron Cupcake Challenge this month too. (I'm still not done, I had a few mishaps- i'll fill you in when I do my Iron Cupcake post).

Okay, now that i've mentioned that, I just want to share in my excitement of the 2 books I ordered. It came in the mail the other day. I apologize for the orange-y colored photo. I opened the box in the evening and that photo is a result of "kitchen lighting"=(


I purchased: Little Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse and Babycakes!!!
I have yet to try any of the recipes/techniques on either books, but I will definitely post about them when I do. If I am totally in love with either book, I will definitely think about doing a giveaway, but in the same effect, I don't think I have that many readers/subscribers to do one- and I can only send out the prize in the U.S. ( I would love to send it to other countries but it would be way to expensive for me as I will be purchasing the prize and mailing it out too- but I really do appreciate my readers from all the different countries). Tell you what, if I get at least 100 subscribers, I will giveaway one of the two books. This will probably take awhile, so if you can't wait, you can by the books here and check out all the other books I keep in my kitchen cabinet=).

Now are we ready to bake & eat? Summer is just around the corner (June 21st to exact) and its that time of the year where people try to eat a little less and exercise more. This year I am one of those people. I am turning 30 this November and I want to lose some poundage okay, a lot of poundage. Not so easy with a food blog, but I have found some great recipes! Just yesterday I was browsing around on the DVR and wondered what this show Cook Yourself Thin was about. I watched all 9 episodes because I was so intrigued. I made one of their recipes for breakfast today. Okay, lets go!

Sundaes for Sunday! ( its actually called Stuffed French Toast Sundaes)

Let's meet the stars of the show:

1 whole egg
1 egg white
2 tablespoons skim milk
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon honey
4 slices whole-wheat bread, crusts removed
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup blackberries
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

**(as you can see, I substituted my berries for blueberries & strawberries).


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the egg, egg white, milk, cinnamon and honey. Spray a nonstick muffin pan with calorie-free vegetable spray. Carefully dip each slice of the bread into the egg/milk mixture and press it into the muffin pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes, until crisp.
3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese until smooth. Spoon equal amounts of the ricotta mixture into each of the bread cups and top with berries. Drizzle the maple syrup on top.

353 Calories for 2 of these yummy things.

**I only used 1 tablespoon of maple syrup to drizzle on all 4 of the sundaes. I love sweets and would have liked a more syrupy taste with my ricotta cheese, so next time, I am going to use 1 tablespoon of the syrup and mix it into the ricotta cheese before putting it on top of the french toast. If I still feel like it isn't sweet enough, i'll add the remaining tablespoon of syrup on top. I hope you try these, they really are delicious, tasty, and healthy!** Please come back and visit again because there are more recipes I would love to try from the show! Happy Eating!

Thursday, June 4, 2009


I just saw my cupcakes featured on 2 blogs! Short post, but I just wanted to share! Here they are:

Cupcakes take the Cake

Sweet Cuppin Cakes Bakery

It's got me all giddy- i'm grinning from ear to ear!

(It's an old photo of me. I was shopping at Ye Old Curiosity Shoppe in Seattle and saw this smiley face thingy. It's a really neat store. Next time your in Seattle, I suggest you stop by)!

Another post will be up soon! I am entering in this month's Iron Cupcake Challenge, come back and see what i've created!
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