Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Chocolate Hazelnut Nutella Cake
  • 1 box of chocolate cake mix
  • 1 cup of toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup of strongly brewed coffee (I used instant espresso granules)
  • 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 small jars of Nutella
  • 1 tub of tiramisu mascarpone cheese
  • fresh raspberries
  • raspberry sauce (see recipe below)
Prepare chocolate cake mix according to instructions, substituting the coffee for part of the water. Stir in hazelnuts, chocolate chips, and one jar of Nutella. Bake according to instructions on box. Garnish with Nutella, mascarpone, raspberries, and sauce. 

Raspberry Sauce
  • 1 small jar of raspberry jam (I used sugar free just because)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp imitation rum extract
  • 2 tbsp orange liqueur (I used Paula's Texas Orange)
Heat jam in saucepan over medium low heat until viscous. Stir in vanilla, rum extract, and liqueur. Strain with mesh strainer to remove seeds and pulp. Refrigerate until needed.

Ambrosia Frosting
  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 tsp. coconut extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/4 c. pineapple preserves
  • 1/4 c. apricot preserves
  • 3 3/4 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 c. flaked coconut
  • 36 maraschino cherries with stems
In a small bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese, and extracts until light and fluffy. Beat in preserves. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until blended. Frost cupcakes; sprinkle with coconut (it was easier for me to kind of dip the tops of the cupcakes into a bowl of coconut since the coconut wouldn't stick otherwise). Garnish with cherries. 

Ambrosia Cupcakes
  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. butter-flavored shortening
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp. rum extract (I substituted root beer concentrate)
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1/2 c. apricot nectar
  • 1/4 c. pineapple preserves
  • 1/4 c. apricot preserves
  • 2 c. cake flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 c. chopped pecans
In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extract. In another bowl, whisk the sour cream, apricot nectar, and preserves. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; add to creamed mixtures alternately with sour cream mixture. Beat just until blended. Stir in pecans. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Fill paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. (Yields 3 dozen)

Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting
  • 1/2 c. nonhydrogenated shortening (I just used butter-flavored Crisco since I wasn't worried about the vegan aspect)
  • 1/2 c. nonhydrogenated margarine (I used Willow Run soy margarine)
  • 3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c. plain soy milk or soy creamer (I used vanilla Silk again since it's what I had)
Beat the shortening and margarine together until well-combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes. Add the vanilla and the soy milk, and beat for another 5 to 7 minutes until light and fluffy. 

Vegan Cookies 'n' Cream Cupcakes
  • 1 c. soy milk (I used vanilla Silk)
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/3 c. canola oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract, chocolate extract, or more vanilla extract
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 c. cocoa powder, Dutch-processed or regular
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. coarsely chopped chocolate cream-filled sandwich cookies
  • Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and other extract, if using, to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain (a few tiny lumps are OK). Mix in the sandwich cookies. Pour into liners, filling 3/4 of the way. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

Candied Lime Slices
  • 6 key limes
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 c. water
Slice limes into thin rounds, blanch in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes and drain. In the same pot, combine water and 1 c. sugar. Bring to a simmer and add lime slices. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, till white pith of limes looks translucent. Drain and spread out on cooling rack to dry for at least an hour (I left mine overnight). Put 2 tbsp sugar in shallow bowl or saucer. When limes are dry, coat both side of lime slices by pressing them into the sugar.

Swiss Meringue
  • 1 c. egg whites
  • 2 c. sugar
  • pinch salt
Whisk together the egg whites, sugar, and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer. Rest the bowl over a pot of boiling water to form a double boiler. Scrape down the sides of the bowl so that all the sugar is off the sides of the bowl. Continue to stir the mixture until all the sugar is melted into the eggs and you no longer feel any graininess when rubbed between your fingers, about 3-5 minutes. Place the bowl onto your mixer and whisk on high speed until the meringue is thick and glossy and the bowl is just warmer than room temperature, about 8 minutes.

Key Lime Cupcakes
  • 1 (18.25 oz) pkg lemon cake mix
  • 1 1/3 c. oil (I used a soybean/sunflower mix)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 (3 oz) pkg lime flavored gelatin mix
  • 3/4 c. key lime juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. butter flavoring
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (or whatever temperature is on your cake mix box). Combine all ingredients. Pour into prepared (lined or greased) muffin tin. Bake according to instructions on cake mix box (my oven bakes one 12-cup tin in about 9 minutes. I just take them out as soon as I can smell them because my oven is finicky.)

Egg Nog Frosting
  • 1 stick (8 tbsp.) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1/4 c. SoCo Egg Nog (any egg nog will do)
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to cream the butter on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Add the powdered sugar and continue to mix until it is well incorporated. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until frosting is very airy and thoroughly mixed, about 2 minutes. Use immediately to frost cookies or cupcakes, or store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Gingerbread Cupcakes
  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 1/2 c. unsulfured molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 c. hot milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter or line with paper liners a 12-cup muffin tin or 24-cup mini muffin tin. Cream 5 tablespoons of the butter with the white sugar. Add the molasses and the egg and egg yolk. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt. Dissolve the baking soda in the hot milk. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in the hot milk mixture. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared tin. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10-15 minutes or until slightly springy to the touch. Allow to cool a few minutes in the pan and remove to a rack to cool.

Apple Pie Cupcakes (easy version)

  • 1 box Golden Butter recipe cake mix
  • 1 can apple pie filling (you may want to run a knife through it a few times since the apple slices are pretty large for cupcakes)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 c. water
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into lined muffin tin. Bake for 10-20 minutes, depending on what size tin you use. Makes 12-18 cupcakes.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
Beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer in a bowl until smooth. Beat in the powdered sugar a little at a time until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and cinnamon; beat until fluffy.

Easy Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
  • 2 (18.25 oz) packages spice cake mix
  • 1 (30 oz) can pumpkin pie filling
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp butter flavoring 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl for 2 minutes. Contents will be very thick. Line muffin tin with paper cups. Fill 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 24 minutes (or, if you're only doing one 12-cup tin at a time, about 10 minutes). Makes about two dozen, usually a little more. TIP: If you have extra batter but not enough to fill all the cups of the muffin tin, fill the remaining empty cups halfway with water. It helps the cupcakes to bake more evenly.

Royal Icing
  • 2 tbsp. meringue powder (I could only find the Wilton brand, and only at Walmart in the cake decorating aisle)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp. water
Mix all together until smooth. This version is best for using the dip method to ice cookies. There are thicker versions that are better for piping.

Simple White Cake

  •      1 c. white sugar
  •      1/2 c. butter
  •      2 eggs
  •      4 tsp. vanilla (I like a strong vanilla taste. If you don't, you can definitely cut this in half.)
  •      1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  •      1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  •      3/4 c. milk

Preheat oven to 35o degrees fahrenheit. Line muffin pan with liners. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and the butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Make sure to beat thouroughly, for about 3 minutes or so, to get enough air in the mixture, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder in separate bowl, add to creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. At this point, it should look like pale yellow Cool Whip. Pour or spoon batter into prepared tins. Bake for 20-25 mins. Cake is done when it springs back to the touch. Yields 12 cupcakes.

Creamy Butter Frosting (this is an awesome recipe when made with real powdered sugar. This is my go-to buttercream recipe.)

  •      1/3 c. butter
  •      1/4 tsp. salt
  •      1 tsp. vanilla
  •      3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  •      3-4 tbsp. milk

Cream butter, salt, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add sugar in thirds, adding a tbsp. of milk after each third of sugar. Beat until smooth. Add more milk if desired consistency is not reached. Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes.

Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake (from the Hershey's website)

  •      2 c. sugar
  •      1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  •      3/4 c. Hershey's Cocoa     
  •      1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  •      1 1/2 tps. baking soda
  •      1 tsp. salt
  •      2 eggs
  •      1 c. milk
  •      1/2 c. vegetable oil
  •      2 tsp. vanilla
  •      1 c. boiling water

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. 10 to 12 servings.


ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.

THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.

BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.

CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.

Marshmallow Frosting

  •      2 1/2 sticks room temperature butter
  •      2 c. powdered sugar
  •      1/2 tsp. vanilla
  •      2 7 oz. tubs marshmallow fluff/cream

Cream butter on high until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating until fluffy each time. Beat in vanilla until incorporated. Dump in fluff, mix until light and creamy.

Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes

  •      1 stick room temperature butter
  •      1 c. sugar
  •      2 eggs, room temperature
  •      3/4 c. flour
  •      1/2 tsp. baking powder
  •      1/4 tsp. baking soda
  •      1/4 tsp. salt
  •      1/2 c. cocoa powder
  •      1 tbsp. instant espresso powder
  •      1/2 c. milk
  •      1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 mins. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined. Mix rest of dry ingredients in separate bowl until combines. Mix milk and vanilla in another separate bowl. Add wet and dry ingredients to butter/sugar, alternating wet and dry, starting and ending with dry. Half-fill cupcake cups. Bake 22-25 mins.

For the frosting, I just made my standby buttercream and threw some peppermint extract and green food coloring in there. Piped it onto the cupcakes, stuck an Andes mint in the top, and voila!

Hershey's "Perfect Chocolate" Chocolate Frosting (from the Hershey's website)

  •      1/2 c. (1 stick) butter or margarine
  •      2/3 c. Hershey's cocoa (any cocoa will do of course)
  •      3 c. powdered sugar
  •      1/3 c. milk
  •      1 tsp. vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. Yields about 2 cups frosting.

French Toast Mini Cupcakes

  •      1 1/2 cup All purpose flour
  •      1 1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
  •      1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  •      1/4 teaspoon Salt
  •      1 cup Sugar
  •      1/2 cup Unsalted butter melted and cooled
  •      2 Eggs
  •      2 teaspoon Maple extract
  •      1/2 cup Milk
1. Preheat oven to 350'F and line baking pan with paper liners.
2. Mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together butter, sugar and eggs until smooth. Make sure the butter is cool or you'll have scrambled eggs.
4. Whisk in maple extract and then alternate between whisking in flour mixture and milk. Make three additions of flour mix and two of milk. Beat until smooth.
5. Scoop batter into prepared mini-muffin pan and bake 12-14 minutes until golden brown and tops spring back when lightly touched.
6. Cool the cupcakes on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 3 cups

  •      1 package (8 ounces) reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  •      4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
  •      3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  •      1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Place the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until combined, 30 seconds. Stop the machine. Add the confectioners' sugar, a little at a time, blending with the mixer on low speed until the sugar is well incorporated, 1 minute. Add the cinnamon, then increase the mixer speed to medium and blend the frosting until fluffy, 1 minute more.

Meatloaf Cupcakes:

  •      2 lbs lean ground beef
  •      1 can condensed vegetable soup
  •      1 tsp onion powder
  •      1 cup bread crumbs
  •      2 eggs
  •      1 tsp salt
  •      1 pinch black pepper
  •      1/2 cup ketchup

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 12 cup muffin tin. Mix ground beef, soup, onion powder, bread crumbs, eggs, salt, and pepper. Scoop mixture evenly into prepared muffin cups. Place on top of cookie sheet to catch any grease that comes out of the muffin tin. Bake 1 hour in oven or until done. "Frost" with mashed potatoes, "sprinkle" with corn kernels.

Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting

  •      1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  •      1 cup white sugar
  •      1/8 teaspoon salt
  •      1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •      1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
   In a small bowl beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form; set aside. In a large bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat until smooth, then fold in whipped cream.

Candied Lemon Zest Recipe
  •         2 lemons
  •         1/3 cup water
  •         1/3 cup sugar
  •         sugar to coat zest strips
    * Wash lemons thoroughly. Trim zest from lemons using a vegetable peeler. Cut wide strips, being careful not to cut into the white pith layer below.  Cut zest strips lengthwise to create thin julienne strips.
    * Place julienne strips in a small sauce pan and cover with cold water. Cook over medium heat until the water comes to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 6 minutes.
    * Remove from heat, drain strips and then return them to the sauce pan.  Add water and sugar to the lemon strips in the sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Continue to cook over low heat until the lemon strips turn translucent. The water and sugar should be starting to thicken. Cooking time will be approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
    * When done cooking, remove strips from the pan and spread out on a sheet of wax paper. Separate the strips on the wax paper so they are not in clumps.
    * Once they have cooled slightly, roll in sugar until they are well coated.


  1. Hey let me know how the oreo rice krispie treats with soy margarine turn out. I've never baked with anything soy.

    Love your blog. I'm now an official follower!


  2. Thanks! They were delicious. The soy margarine I used, Willow Run, is so close to butter that you couldn't even tell the difference.

  3. awesome recipes! im thinking of doing some variations to matcha cupcakes :D i got bored of just plain old icing my cupcake. need to inject good flavours into it!
    any idea wad kinda topping + filling i should go for? haha any suggestions would be great :D i can't wait to experiment too hehe :D

  4. Thank you! I think any berry flavor would be great in a matcha cupcake, especially raspberry. Later today, I'll be posting some mini bundt cakes I'm making for a friend with a super easy raspberry sauce drizzled over the top. Maybe you'll get some inspiration?


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