Banana Bonanza

so good a monkey would eat it

Ok, so I know I said I wouldn’t make anything from scratch… but I lie sometimes.  These suckers were made from scratch because I had old mushy bananas.  Sue me.  PS. Please don’t sue me.

I baked some banana muffins since I had the day off tomorrow.  I thought it would be nice to wake up to a yummy muffiny breakfast.  Oh, did I mention I’m starting a diet, like immediately, and would not be able to eat baked goods after New Years.  These were my last hurrah.

Banana Muffins – makes 12

3 mushy bananas, mashed

1.5 cups ‘self rising’ flour

1 egg, beaten

1/3 cup butter, melted

3/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line muffin tins.  Combine melted butter, eggs, and mashed bananas.  Stir in flour.  Now, I just had self rising flour in my cabinet because I bought it accidentally for my sugar cookies.  I couldn’t even tell you how much baking powder/baking sugar/salt to add to these muffins in real life with all purpose flour.  Sorry.  You can go look it up.  You’re on the internet, google it.

Once the muffins were in the tins, filled about half way, I sprinkled the tops with a little bit of cinnamon and some crunchy sugar to give the cakes some texture.  Bake for about 18 – 20 minutes.

Now… I decided that six regular muffins were enough.  I added some mini chocolate chips to the rest of the batter and made some banana chocolate chip mini muffins.

I baked these for about 10 minutes.  They’re so delicious.  I mean, look at those teeny chocolate chips peeking out of the top.  They’re adorable and delicious.
Also, I know that the shadows on these pictures are ridiculous.  I’m not a food photographer, so this is what happens.  I have crappy lighting and I don’t care.  I Instagram these pictures so they look a teeny bit better than real life.

I’m going to go eat all these muffins now.  Happy New Year!

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Christmas Cupcakes Part II

 

 

 

Adorably Festive!

 

..and for my second cupcake I made chocolate peanut butter cupcakes.  I didn’t think the light brown color of peanut butter icing would be very festive, so I made some white chocolate wreaths to put on the top.

For the cake:

Devil’s Food Cake

12oz (1 can) diet cream soda

24 mini reese’s cups – frozen

For the icing:
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

8 tbsp butter

3 cups powdered sugar

2 – 3 tsp water

 

Mix the cake mix and diet soda until combined.  Scoop into cupcake liners and place one frozen reese’s cup in the center, push it down until secured in the batter.  Bake for 15 mins at 350 degrees and let cool

For the icing mix peanut butter and butter until combined and fluffy.  Then stir in the powdered sugar and water 1tsp at a time.  The icing will have the consistency of fudge as you thin it out.  Feel free to eat globs of it.  Peanut butter and butter can’t possibly be bad for your heart or arteries.  STOP EATING THE ICING, FATASS.  Pipe on to cool cupcakes.  The cupcakes will have a little hole in the middle from the reese’s cup.  Just ice over the hole, it’ll be ok.

I topped each cupcake with a chocolate wreath.  I made them the same night as the stupid bundt cake.  I bought green and red melting chocolates from the craft store.  I tried to melt the green but accidentally burned it a little bit so it formed this ridiculous play dough texture.  I rolled them and formed wreaths and sprinkled them with some green sugar crystals to make them more fun.  Then I melted some red chocolates and piped bows on and put a white pearl in the middle of the bow.  I took some artistic license with these wreaths. I melted a second batch of green chocolates and that worked out much better, so I piped them onto a metal cookie sheet that I had put into the freezer for about 10 minutes into flatter wreaths and did my bow stuff.  Those look better and will probably be easier to eat since it won’t be this giant brick of chocolate on these cakes.  Those pretty wreaths go on my boyfriend’s families’ cupcakes.  They need to be impressed with me and my skills.   Anyway, the wreaths are easier to make than you’d think so give it a shot.  If you don’t feel like it, sprinkles are a lazy persons option.

 

Merry Christmas!!

Christmas Cupcakes!

Santa loves mint...

Merry Christmas, ya’ll!

This year I was going to something different.  I was going to bring gingerbread men cookies to all my celebrations.  Mix it up a little and not bring cupcakes, right?  Well, after sugar cookies, I realized that I pretty much hated cutting out all those cookies and frosting them AND decorating them.  Forget about it.  I stuck to what I know.  What I really love doing – making cupcakes out of cake mix and lots of buttery frosting.

Did I mention that I have like 32+ people at any given family holiday?  I have a huge family.  So I usually make 2 dozen cupcakes to bring with me for these festivities.  I also have to go to my boyfriend’s families’ holiday activities, so actually I usually make 4 dozen cupcakes.  Anyway, for my first batch of cupcakes I made mint chocolate chip cupcakes.  I was inspired by the recipe I found here – http://www.yourcupofcake.com/2011/05/andes-mint-cupcakes.html  and I thought that chocolate mint was really festive.

Cake:
Devil’s Food cake mix

12 oz (1 can) diet soda

1/2  cup mini chocolate chips

I veered off a little bit from the yourcupofcake.com recipe for the icing.  I really wanted a chocolate peppermint flavor in the entire cupcake, so I added some vanilla and cocoa to the icing to give it just a hint of the chocolate flavor.  I think it really reduced some of the strong mint flavor.

Icing:

8oz cream cheese

8 tbsp butter

1 tsp vanilla

1.5 tsp peppermint extract

3 tsp cocoa powder

3 cups powdered sugar

green food coloring

Is this really a mystery at this point? Mix cake ingredients, put into baking cups, bake for 15 mins at 350 degrees.  Let them cool.  If you can’t manage that, you’re probably retarded.  Or a child.  Or a retarded child. And IF you’re a retarded child your parents shouldn’t be letting you bake cupcakes by yourself.

For the frosting beat the cocoa powder, vanilla, cream cheese, and butter together until fluffy.  Seriously you guys, I’m a fluffy nazi.  Just make it fluffy.  Its not hard.  Unless you’re that retarded child with bad parents.  Shoo shoo retard flu! Anyway, add in the powdered sugar and enough green food coloring to make it green without being that horrible baby-poop green color that you get when you mix green and brown. Sorry,that was gross but I don’t know any other way to describe that color.

Pipe onto the cupcakes.  I used a wilton 1M tip.  Its my new favorite cupcake tip.  Boom.  I let my boyfriend pick the sprinkles, and I think he did an excellent job.

Cake Wreck

Look at this piece of shit'

So my boyfriend has a potluck tomorrow.  He volunteered me to make a cake of some sort.  Logical, right, since I love to bake stuff.  He asked for a whole cake rather than cupcakes.  So I made him a pumpkin bundt cake with cream cheese filling and cinnamon glaze.  Easy enough.  I love baking and who can’t make a bundt?

I baked it and let it cool slightly.  I wanted it still warm on the tray so when I put the glaze on top the heat would melt the glaze and create those delicious pools and drips down the side of the cake.  The kind of thing that makes people want to eat all the cake all the time.  So I tipped the bundt pan and fate intervened.  I somehow slid the cake tray and the bundt ended up half on and half off the tray and began to crack everywhere.  It also started to expand and completely lose its bundt shape.  I tried to save it by putting it in the fridge to cool it down quickly and try to fix it.  But I mentioned glazing the cake while it was still warm and my boyfriend was all ‘you should do it, then you can just slide it over when the cake cools’  I shouldn’t have listened to that loud mouth.  I should have put the bundt pan back over the cake and let it cool and then slid it over… but no.  I created cinnamon butter soup.  I managed to slid it a teeny bit to get the whole thing on the tray so I could put the lid on.  The end result is a delicious cake that looks like DJ let it bounce around his car on the way to the office potluck.  At least thats what I’m going to tell him to tell everyone happened.

I will vindicate myself.  This is not the end of me!

PS.  I might have been near tears over this ugly ulgy cake.  What does that say about me?

BFF Birthday!

Happy Birthday BFF!

My best friend turns ** on Wednesday and so, of course, I made her a birthday cake.  (The number has been concealed since we’re old as shit.) I stealthily found out her favorite cake (by asking, uh, hey, whats your favorite cake?) and thought about how exactly to go about making it for weeks.

She wanted a vanilla cake with vanilla frosting.  Totally plain, but seriously delicious.  I bought a french vanilla cake mix (on sale! boom!) and I made a filling for between the layers out of instant pudding and then decorated it with royal icing flowers.  I seriously panicked about the decorations because my original thought was to make her Futurama-themed cupcakes but I had to change my idea when she said she wanted girly rainbow sprinkles to make the cake all precious and adorable, like she is.  So I mixed it up and wanted to make it as girly as I could – a cameo, flowers, pink, putting-a-bird-on-it, etc… so here is how it turned out!

Cake:
Duncan Hines French Vanilla – prepared according to directions.

Filling:
Instant vanilla pudding mix prepared as the ‘pie’ filling on the back of the box

Icing:
For the cake:

Vanilla Icing:
1 stick butter

4oz cream cheese

1/4 cup dry vanilla instant pudding

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 cups powdered sugar

3 tsp water to thin icing

For the flowers and cameos I used royal icing – the recipe is here : http://www.wilton.com/recipe/Royal-Icing and I just dyed it using some neon and regular food coloring.

Here are some close ups of the decorations!

Not properly made pansies, whateva

I made some roses and purple pansies.  I thought they were cute.  I mostly just wanted to play with my petal tip.  (hur hur hur)

The roses turned out really cute!  The icing I made was thinned out too much so the roses kind of melted a little bit.  It created this weird and really pretty melty type texture.

See the tiny yellow birds?

Also, these pictures have been instagram’d like crazy.  I can’t stop pretending I am into photography and photo-editing them.

I’m pretty proud of this cake.  Its my third ‘real’ cake and not cupcakes so I’m really happy with how it turned out.  I skipped a lot of steps – like making sure the icing has been smoothed and not all wrinkley.  But thats mostly because I didn’t have the time to let it set.  I mis-calculated how long an entire cake would take me and ran out of time to make it to the party.  So it is what it is, and I think it was pretty nice.

Booze Dough and Tears 2011

Girls love dips!

OK, so I’ve accepted my new love for Christmas.  I’m slowly morphing into a ridiculous Christmas sweater wearing asshole.  It’ll happen one of these days I’ll look around my apartment, filled with cats, and wonder where my youth went.  When I should have been doing Christmas shots and blowing strangers, but instead I was making sweatshirts with glitter puff paint and having cookie decorating parties.  Anyway, I had a bunch of pretty ladies come to my apartment and we made sugar cookies and decorated them.  We had glasses of spiked hot chocolate and some delightful bailey’s cocktails.  Basically, it was super fun!  I made way too many snacks for everyone involved – veggie roll ups, hummus tray, and some apple straws with caramel dip.  Best snacks ever, yo!

The recipe for the sugar cookies can be found here – http://www.crisco.com/Recipes/Details.aspx?recipeID=1328  my uncle has been using this recipe for years and its my favorite cookie of all time.  I also made some buttercream frosting using a basic recipe –

1 stick butter

1tsp vanilla

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

whip butter and vanilla until fluffy.  Add powdered sugar until desired consistency.   Delicious.

I made this cookie for my adorable boyfriend – The Ultimate Cookie Warrior !

OOohhh Yeeeaaaahhhh brother

OOohhh Yeeeaaaahhhh brother

Christina made a bad ass rocket –

she's a rocket man

Tricia made amazing looking cookies –

look at that nerd cookie!

Ann was the only one not drinking and therefore was the most enthusiastic and completed the most cookies before being officially over it –

not drinking greatly increases your productivity.

And finally, I demonstrated how I was the most emotionally mature and refined by creating this cookie –

hur hur hur hur

Getting ready for the holidays is so much fun!

Breakfast for Dessert – Blueberry Pancake Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

Whats breakfast without bacon?

So Friday night I decided to make these cupcakes. Why?  Just because… just because I wanted to eat something DELICIOUS.  Hiiii ooooh.  I’ll be here all week.

Anyway, I found an awesome recipe for blueberry pancake cupcakes here (http://www.yourcupofcake.com/2011/08/blueberry-pancake-cupcakes.html) and I felt like I must have them in my mouf.  So, since I’m not a from-scratch-er I figured that a butter pecan cake mix base would be delicious and taste like a pancake.  I also decided that her recipe was missing bacon.  Because really, any recipe where ‘bacon’ isn’t an ingredient is missing bacon.  Bacon 4 Lyfe!  In retrospect I would have cut down a bit on the cream soda and added a bit of sour cream to the cake mix.  It tasted like breakfast but not as much like a pancake as I wanted it to.

Cupcakes:

1 box butter pecan cake mix

12 oz diet cream soda

1 cup frozen blueberries

Frosting:

1.5 tsp imitation maple extract/flavoring whatever you want to call it

4 oz cream cheese

1 cup butter

3 – 4 cups powdered sugar

Bacon and cinnamon and sugar for garnish

Makes: 24 cupcakes, your belly happy

Defrost and rinse your blueberries.  They don’t have to be room temperature but they shouldn’t be frozen.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Or you could be like me and have  your oven already warm from baking bacon.  I have never baked bacon before… its like a miracle.  It came out so super crispy and amazing.  This was life changing for me.  You will also want to line your cupcake tins

Combine diet soda and cake mix until it resembles batter.  It should actually be batter, and not just a resemblance.   Fold in your blueberries.  Fill liners and bake for 15 – 17 minutes.  You also have to accept that the blueberries are going to sink while baking.  Just try to be as zen about it as possible.  Pretend you did it on purpose.  Whatever you have to do to get through it.

While the cupcakes are baking make your frosting.  Whip the maple flavor, butter, and cream cheese until fluffy – FLUFFY G*D DAMMIT!! Then stir in your powdered sugar. If necessary you can thin it with a little bit of water.  Like, a tsp at a time.  Don’t dump a bunch in or your icing will be like New Orleans after those levvies broke.  Too soon?  Sorry.

When the cupcakes are cool pipe on your frosting and sprinkle with some cinnamon and sugar.  Really, the cinnamon and sugar are optional but I really recommend that you do it. It makes it extra breakfasty.  You can also stick some bacon on it if you’re down with breakfast meat in your dessert.  We are at my house, so we baconed the hell out of them.  Worth it!

Obligatory Holiday Cupcakes – Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Filling and Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

DJ's Favorites!

Ok, so again with the Thanksgiving cupcakes.  My 10yr old cousin asked my mom specifically if I could make these cupcakes.  So of course I did.  She’s a beautiful blue eyed blonde girl, so I’m sure this is just the first in a long future line of her getting whatever she wants.

Anyway, these pumpkin cupcakes are amazing.  I can’t stop thinking about them and mourning their loss.  I wish they never quit me.  The best part was that I pre-stuffed the cupcakes with the cream cheese filling so that when they baked up they got a little toasty and tasted like a cream cheese toasted marshmallow.
Cupcakes:

1 box yellow cake mix

1 can/overwhelming cup canned pumpkin

2 – 3 tbsp pumpkin pie spice

12 oz diet cream soda

Cream Cheese Filling

8oz cream cheese

1.5 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

4 oz cream cheese

1 cup butter

1 tsp vanilla

2 – 3 tbsp cinnamon – to taste

Makes: 24 cupcakes (plus a few minis…)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Line your cupcake pans

Make your cream cheese filling by combining all ingredients until well blended.  You don’t want the filling to be too sweet -thats what the frosting is for.  When you’ve make the filling eat several scoops of it to make sure it isn’t poison.  Then put it in the fridge so its cold when you scoop it into the cupcake batter.

Mix soda, cake mix, canned pumpkin, and pumpkin pie mix until smooth.  Fill cupcake liners slightly more than halfway.  Take your chilled cream cheese filling and scoop small amounts into each cupcake.  These will bake into odd shapes, so just do whatever you want.  You’re covering the tops with frosting, no one will see your hideous creations.  Bake the cupcakes for 15 – 17 minutes at 350 until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

While cupcakes are baking make your frosting by mixing the butter, cream cheese, cinnamon and vanilla until smooth and fluffy.  I said fluffy, so do it right.  Then stir in the powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time until your preferred consistency.  Make sure you’ve added enough cinnamon.   Once the cupcakes have cooled completely top with the cinnamon buttercream.

Then serve them to your boyfriend and he will love you forever.  Or he will just stay with you forever because you make awesome cupcakes even though he’s lost all the love he once had for you.

Or whatever, maybe your little 10yr old cousin will just be really excited when you show up with them at Thanksgiving.

PS.  The pumpkins I just made by piping out the shapes in tinted royal icing.  Freehand, b*tches.  I don’t do fondant.  I’m an icing purist.

Obligatory Holiday Cupcakes – Apple Crisp Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

They taste as good as they look!

This is my first post!  Yay!

Enough celebrating… lets get to the cakes, fool.  I love to bake but I don’t really like baking from scratch.  I’m more of a ‘cake mix’ kind of girl.  I started making cupcakes constantly when I learned that you could make diet soda cupcakes and they were delicious and low calorie.  This enabled me – since I’m constantly on a diet – to eat some cake.  This grew into like, a real interest.  I took a cake decorating class at my local craft store.  Thus, I am now an expert.  Just kidding, I’m just some girl who makes cupcakes and obsessively reads  baking blogs.

Anyway, back on Thanksgiving I had two requests for cupcakes – one request for pumpkin cupcakes (the next post… timely, right?) and a baker’s choice.  So I baker’s chose to make Apple Crisp Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting.  This recipe I actually figured out all on my own, so there won’t be a link to my ‘inspiration’ or whatever.  Oh, except for the apple crisp oat topping which I got from Martha Stewart.

Cupcakes:

1 box yellow cake mix

12oz (1 can) diet cream soda

1/2 granny smith apple, grated

3 packets of instant apple cider mix (or to taste)

Oatmeal ‘Crisp’

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

8 tblsp butter (1 stick)

1 cup oats (not instant!)

Caramel Frosting

4oz cream cheese

1 cup butter

3 cups-ish powdered sugar

1/4 cup caramel sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Make the oatmeal crisp by combining the cold butter, flour, salt, and brown sugar until coarse crumbs are formed.  Then add oats and combine.  You can use a pastry tool or two knives, I use my fingers to mash it all up cave-man style.

Combine the yellow cake mix and the 12oz of soda.  Grate the granny apple into the batter and stir in the apple cider packets until you can taste the apple.  You don’t want it to be overwhelmingly cake-battery.  You need that apple.

Line 2 cupcake pans with cupcake liners and lightly flatten equal amounts of the ‘oatmeal’ crisp into the bottom of each liner.  Use a scoop or a spoon to evenly distribute batter into the liners.  I use a scoop because I feel like its more baker-y.  I watch a lot of Cupcake Wars, so I know whats up.

Bake the cupcakes for 15 – 17 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  These diet soda cakes will be VERY moist.  Like very very moist.  Don’t try to make a real cake out of this kind of batter or it will fall apart.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you because I totally did.  Just now.

While the cupcakes are baking combine the cream cheese, butter, and caramel using a mixer until its smooth and creamy.  I guess about 5 minutes?  Then stir in the powdered sugar until its thick enough to withstand the piping process.  You want to be careful with the powdered sugar because combining the caramel and the sugar makes for extremely SWEET frosting.  Like whoa, ya’ll.  Don’t be afraid to add more caramel and balance it all out.

When the cupcakes are done, let them cool completely.  Then pipe on your frosting and eat.  The oatmeal crisp on the bottom is kind of bland so it adds a real balance to the apple cake and sweet caramel frosting.

OMG my first post!

Recipe for Martha Stewart Apple Crisp – you should make this too.  Its so good.

http://www.marthastewart.com/316288/apple-crisp