What's Up, Cupcake? Menu

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Sweet Treats Saturday: Sugar Cookie Cupcakes

These cupcakes are so decadent. They really emphasize the 'sweet' in 'sweet treats.' But they're so delicious, and would be the perfect compliment to a platter of sugar cookies.

Don't believe me?

That's how I served them.

It was a tough decision.  Sugar cookie... cupcake... alright, one of each.

Sugar Cookie Cupcakes
Recipe from le creme de la crumb
Makes approx 12 cupcakes

Ingredients for the cupcakes:
1/2 c butter (1 stick), softened
1 c sugar
2 large eggs
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup half n' half

Ingredients for the frosting:
2 tbsp cream cheese, room temp
1/2 c butter (1 stick), softened
5 1/2 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4-5 tbsp half n' half
Optional: Food coloring

Directions for the cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin.
2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Mix in vanilla extract and eggs until blended.
3. In a separate bowl, add flour, baking powder, and salt. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with half n' half. Mix until blended.
4. Spoon batter into cupcake liners. Bake 15-20 minutes until just browning on the edges. Let cool on a wire rack.

Directions for the frosting:
1. In a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Slowly add powdered sugar and mix until smooth.  Add in vanilla. Slowly add half n' half until frosting is smooth. Mix in food coloring until desired color is achieved. Decorate cupcakes... and enjoy!

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Sweet Treats Saturday: White Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting

In my ripe old age of... well, early 30's, I've started to like desserts with fruit flavors.  When I was a kid, you couldn't get my to touch them! Well, mainly fruit fillings. Why would you want to ruin a cake with that?? Now, though? Love it.

I saw a similar recipe to this online, but it was in a different language, and the conversion measurements just didn't seem to be adding up to a full batch of cupcakes. So, I improvised! I went off of a combination of multiple recipes that I had in my head, and made my own variation of white chocolate chip cupcakes, topped with a raspberry cream cheese frosting.

I'm even impressed with myself.

I gave these out at a holiday market as a fundraiser for the church that rented us the booth space. The market patrons had nothing but good things to say, and we had snacks on hand in between sales.

We really didn't eat that many... but it was tempting. They're REALLY good! How perfect would these be for Valentine's Day??

Hopefully you'll enjoy them too!

White Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting
Makes approx 24 cupcakes

Ingredients for cupcakes:

1/2 c butter (1 stick), softened
1 c sugar
3 large eggs

2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 c milk
3/4 c white chocolate chips

Ingredients for frosting:
1/2 c butter (1 stick), softened
4 oz cream cheese, room temp
3 1/2 c powdered sugar
1/4 c raspberry jelly (seedless)
red food coloring

Directions for cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin.
2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy (approx 2 minutes). Slowly add in eggs.
3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.  Slowly add the dry mixture into the butter mixture, alternating with the milk until blended.  Stir in white chocolate chips.  Spoon mixture into cupcake liners, filling approx 2/3 of the way.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until light golden around the edges and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Directions for frosting:
1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth. Slowly add in powdered sugar and mix until blended.
2. Add in raspberry jelly and blend. Add red food coloring until desired color is reached. Use to frost cupcakes.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

First Birthday Party Planning

Believe it or not, my little guy is approaching his first birthday. Doesn’t it feel like yesterday that I even announced he was on his way?

I’ve taken this birthday party planning business seriously, and though I was torn between multiple themes over the past six months (yes, that’s how long I’ve been thinking about this), in November I made the final decision to do a ‘Little Man’ theme and have gone full-blown ever since.  Because I’ve had plenty of time to think on this, I was able to take advantage of some great deals, including black Friday and after Christmas specials.  I also made the leap over to the dark side: vinyl and paper cutting with the purchase of a Silhouette Cameo.  I’m kinda addicted.

I want to share with you some of the party resources I've found.  Stores and online shops to buy supplies from, and places of party inspiration.  Today I'm going to focus on the theme, invitations, and favors, but later posts will include decorations, party prep, and, of course, food.

Starting with the theme. I wanted to do something that he probably wouldn’t pick for a future birthday. This ruled out trains and cars (just from what I’ve seen in little boys birthdays, they seem to gravitate towards those topics). I was torn between little man, Where the Wild Things Are, and Dr. Seuss. I may do one of the latter two for a future birthday, but once I found this mustache fabric from Hart’s, I instantly ordered two yards and declared it the winner.  Choosing a fabric to go off of really helped, as I didn’t have to choose from a wide range of colors… they were already selected for me.  And luckily, mustache’s are really popular right now. Etsy is swimming with them for all occasions, Target and Walmart have bits and pieces (Walmart actually has a small section right now with party supplies in the mustache theme), and there are so many inspiration posts in the blogosphere.  If you don’t believe me, check out my Pinterest on the topic.

I made the invitation myself, using Adobe Illustrator and the Silhouette to cut out the pop-up mustaches. I gathered my inspiration from various designs on Etsy, and made it into one that fit the party.  You could pretty easily make one yourself, or again, check out Etsy for some amazing sellers.  Some of my favorites were:

I got the invitation paper from Paper-Source and with shipping, it can be a little pricey (as card stock goes). I miss the days of having a Paper Source 15 minutes away.  I’ve been told that Michael’s actually has really good card stock, so I’ll have to check next time I’m in the area.  I didn’t know how many paper invitations I would need, as I’ll also be distributing an invitation electronically to most of my local mommy friends, so I went with 50.  I’m going to use the extras to make stationary, so it works out in the end. You can never have too much stationary sized card stock.

I used foam, adhesive dots to raise the blue mustaches on the invitation. I love the effect that it gave it. I also printed the back of the envelopes with a little teaser, and I used mustache printed washi tape to add the finishing touch.

Next, I want to share with you the goodie bags that I put together.  The average age of the kids at this party will probably be from 8 months – 2 years.  There will be a few older (I think from 3-8 years old) kids there, so I wanted something that would be toddler safe (with supervision), and also fun for the older kids.  I really spent a ridiculous amount of time figuring out how to package these things. Seriously, I don’t think normal people do this. I was torn between paper, cellophane, and burlap type bags.  I did a lot of price comparisons and thoughts as to how everything would be displayed when making pretty much every decision on this party, and with my love of fabric, I ultimately went with the muslin bags.  I found them for a reasonable price (again, lots of price comparison shopping), and once I figured out the contents of the bags, I ordered the size I needed.  They came with a twine-type ribbon that matched the bags, but I had ordered plenty of bakers twine in blue so I swapped it out.  It was a little bit of a pain to do as I had to slightly cut the openings of the top of each bag but the twine looks so good with it that I’m really happy with the extra work.

I love the 'goodies' that I found for the bags. They all went with the mustache theme, and aside from the sidewalk chalk, all came from Oriental Trading Company or Century Novelty (both are bulk party supply stores), so they were really inexpensive.

Mustache Whistles
Rubber Duckies with mustaches
Mustache shaped sidewalk chalk

The finishing touch on the favor bags were tags that I made on my Silhouette. I designed the top, 'thank you' tag on  Adobe Illustrator, then cut that and the black/blue hanging tag bases on my Cameo. I used the foam adhesive to elevate the two levels, and tied them onto the bag. I used card stock from AC Moore which, sadly, was of disappointing quality. It does the job, but I'm going to check out my other craft stores as I've been told they have some better options.

If you're doing a mustache theme'd party, there are so many awesome products out there! Just in my search for links to share tonight, I saw that Oriental Trading Company has added even more items. As much as I would love to splurge, at this point, I have quite a stash and don't want to be accused of going overboard. Ok, I might have already been accused of it, so too late there.  Regardless, check out resources like your local craft stores, Etsy galore, Target, Wal-Mart, dollar stores... you can find some hidden gems out there and get some great deals!

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Holiday Crafting and Felt Ornaments

Holiday crafting is in full swing. My friend and I were invited to participate in a local holiday craft fair with a European theme. We were thrilled to have the opportunity but we needed to come up with some new items along those lines. I decided to try my hand at felt ornaments as I had a stash of the fabric and I've been wanting to dabble in it for a while now.

Can I say that I'm in love?

I know, dramatic. But seriously - stitching in felt is so awesome! It's smooth, easy to work with and manipulate, and it got my creative juices flowing. Once I got started, I couldn't stop! I made over 40 ornaments over the course of two weeks. Intense, yes, but it felt so nice to be crafting like that again.

I think our display ended up looking beautiful, and the craft fair was a lot of fun. There was tons of foot traffic and we met a lot of great people.

I'm really proud of all of the stuff that I made up for the fair, but I do need to get my Etsy shop updated with some of my newer baby items. I did get a chance to put some of my holiday ornaments and decorations in though, and readers of this blog get a holiday discount! Just use the code '10PERCENT' for 10% off of your purchase. I can ship pretty much immediately, so there's still time to get things for the holidays.  Here's the link: What's Up, Cupcake? Etsy Shop

Isabel made up some adorable onesies in fun holiday designs. She also had these new onesies with a crochet flower. The flower detatches to make for easy washing. How clever is that?? I need her to help me clean up my crochet skills. Her work is so delicate and intricate, and to be honest, I feel like mine can be a little sloppy.

Aside from ornament crafting, I have a few new baby lovie designs to stitch up. I'd love to get that done in the next few days so I can ship them out as well. I've already had some mommas asking for them in my online groups. And then, I'm hoping for some R&R. Spending time cuddling with my little guy and enjoying the winter weather with my family.

I hope you, lovely readers, are doing well, and enjoying this holiday season! I have some more yummy treats to share with you and I'm going to be cutting out my Zinnia skirt soon. It feels good to be at the sewing machine again!

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Sweet Treats Saturday: Sugar and Spice Cupcakes

Sugar and spice and everything nice!

I've been craving spice cake. It happens every Fall. Ok, really... year round. But I remember it every Fall when I smell spices in the air or think of mulled cider. This time, I decided to try my hand at a spice cake recipe.

I still feel 'new' in the area. North Carolina, that is. I've met so many new people who don't always know about my love of baking. Well, the word is getting out. These cupcakes brought about some new converts and I can't hide my secret (ok, really, it isn't much of a secret) much longer.

Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting
Frosting recipe from I Wash You Dry
Cupcake recipe makes 24 cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:
2 1/2 c cake flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 c butter, room temp
1/2 c light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 c granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 c buttermilk

Cupcake Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two cupcake pans.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a mixing bowl and using electric beaters), cream butter and sugars. Once fluffy, slowly add eggs and vanilla extract. Beat at high speed until light and fluffy, approx 5 minutes.
4. Add dry ingredients, alternating with buttermilk, mixing until just combined.
5. Pour batter into lined cupcake pans, filling 2/3 of the way. Bake for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.

Frosting Ingredients:
1 c brown sugar, packed
1/4 c water
1/2 c light corn syrup
4 egg whites
2 tsp vanilla extract

Frosting Directions:
1. Mix brown sugar, water, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil (being careful not to burn yourself as the mixture will rise). Let it boil at medium heat until the syrup drizzles from the spoon in a hair-like string. This will take approx 10 minutes but may vary so keep an eye on the mix. Remove from the burner and set aside to cool.
2. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff.
3. While beating the egg whites, slowly pour the hot syrup in a thin stream into the egg whites. Don't rush this step! Continue beating until the icing holds peaks, then add the vanilla.
4. Let cool until room temp and frost the cupcakes when ready to serve.

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