Sunday, October 17, 2010


Coffee.  I love coffee.  I can't imagine ever giving it up.  I'm miserable if I don't have it.  I'm even miserable if I don't have it the way I like it, which is with half & half and a little bit of sugar, please.  Dark roast, ultra roast, medium roast, yum.  Sumatra, Guatemala Antigua, Trader Joe's Bay Blend, Godess Kaffeina, yes!  And because I love it, I'd rather do without than drink terrilble coffee from a gas station or vending machine.  A vending machine?  Gasp!

It was this esteem for coffee that inspired these delicious morsels.  Chocolate cake with fresh brewed coffee buttercream, topped with a chocolate chip espresso shortbread cookie.  Heaven.  Plain and simple, heaven.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Guava Mania

As usual, I will pretty much make whatever kind of cupcakes my friends want.  My friend Andy really wanted me to make something with guava, so I gave it a shot.  These are coconut cupcakes with guava cream cheese frosting.  I topped them with mango, pineapple and a slice of guava paste.  They were light, fresh and fruity and I'd definitely make them again, maybe I'd even pipe a little mango curd into the center.  That sounds amazing!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Dorothy: Part II

Since Dorothy never got to enjoy her last round of birthday cake, I tried again.  This time, I went out on a limb and tried a new recipe.  I mean, it's from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes, so how bad could it be, right? 

Here are Martha's Brown Sugar Pound Cupcakes.  Instead of the boring glaze Martha recommends for these lovely cakes, I topped them with her brown sugar cream cheese frosting.  Mmmmmmm!  This frosting is so soft and smooth, it's like a rich sauce for your cake.  And your life.  To up the ante a bit more, I sprinkled chopped pecans on half of the cakes and drizzled just a bit of caramel over them.

Here she is, the birthday girl!  Isn't she sweet?  Of course she is!  She loved her birthday cake! Of course she did!  It was so good! 


Happy Birthday Dorothy: Part I

Dorothy's the best.  She's awesome.  So for her birthday, I brought my A-game.  Rich, double chocolate cake with caramel swiss meringue buttercream sprinkled with pecans and drizzled with homemade caramel. 

Below, on the right is a shot of that homemade caramel sauce.  It's pure magic that happens when plain old white sugar and water get all hot and bothered.  When you add some cream, whoa!  It's on!


There's a but.  A big one.  But, Sunday night, I fell down my stairs.  Just missed a step and flew down the rest of them.  I was laid up for a couple of days so I was not able to bring Dorothy her cupcakes!  She never even got to taste her wonderfully rich cake or let the sinfully silky frosting just melt on her tongue!  Boo! 

Bonus Pics: 

Here's my jacked up wrist: 

I don't think it's broken, but the jury's still out.  Nah, I'm just waiting for the results.  It still works though. 

Guess Who's Five?

Good grief, where did the past five years go?  I can't believe my teeny tiny baby nephew is five already!  What a big boy.  For his party, we went with intense flavor instead of a kitschy theme -- not that there's anything wrong with kitsch!  This was a triple decker chocolate cake with raspberry buttercream in between the layers and chocolate truffle frosting on the outside.  I'm not gonna lie, it wasn't the most beautiful cake I've ever made, but it sure did taste amazing! 

And here's the birthday boy! 
On the left he's with his sister Lilly and
on the right, hamming it up for the camera. 

Monkey Treats For Daisy!

I don't just bake for people.  Dogs love fresh baked yummies too.  So when my friend Marybeth adopted her own four-legged homie named Daisy, I couldn't wait to bake! 

Here she is!  It's Daisy! 

This whole sheet of cookies is from just one batch.  Here they are, chock full of bacony goodness, ready to go into the oven to get nice and crispy. 


And here they are, cooling off, ready to be totally inhaled in one bite!

Just because he's so cute I had to include him, here's Monkey, the eponymous muse for these treats and my most favorite boy in the whole world!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

They Still Do!

Chip & Jane have been married for forty years.  Forty years!  To honor their milestone, Chip planned a ceremony to renew their vows in front of family and friends and a reception to celebrate, just like a regular wedding.  Oh, and he did it all as a surprise for his lovely wife.
Que romantico!

Chip ordered a chocolate chip cake with both raspberry buttercream and mocha buttercream, covered in vanilla buttercream and shaved white chocolate.  He wanted it to be in the style of a traditional, tiered wedding cake, but understated with a simple topper and very little embellishment. 

When Chip asked me to make the cake for their special day, I had to admit that it would be my first wedding cake, and in fact, my very first tiered cake.  He was all in, so I got to work researching the process of stacking cakes.  I had nothing to worry about because I can always count on good friend Lindsey, an extremely talented baker, to help me along the process with advice she picked up while baking her brother's wedding cake and the other gorgeous tiered cakes in her repertoire.  

Congratulations Chip & Jane!  I hope your special day was wonderful, and that you enjoyed the cake!  May your next 40 years together be filled with good health, tremendous joy and much laughter!


So when folks at the party heard there was a blog, everyone wanted a bite of the action.  Here they are, full of cake & love. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Blackberry Breakfast Bars

These lovely bars are filled with blackberries* and surrounded by a delicious, slightly crunchy, entirely chewy oatmeal shortbread.  The recipe came from my favorite food blog, smitten kitchen.  I used blackberries instead of raspberries because they were picked about an hour before I arrived at my favorite farmstand.  I'm a sucker for fresh picked berries.  Next though, I've got to try them with peaches.  Doesn't that just sound dreamy? 

*I've been semi-obsessed with blackberries since my friend Sharif taught me that they are members of a fruit family called drupes, which essentially are a fleshy fruit with a stone hidden inside.  Other drupes include cherries, mangoes, plums, nectarines, peaches, dates, and olives.  Blackberries are a special kind of drupe, the berry's flesh is composed of "aggregated drupelets."  Drupelets!  How cute is that?  

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Happy Birthday to My Girls!

Heather & Erin are the kind of people you really want to be around, the kind of friends who, no matter how long it's been since you saw them last, you just fit together again seamlessly, as though no time at all had passed between you.  Isn't that the best kind of friends?  They're smart and funny and loyal, they're motivated and passionate and kind, and when it's been more than a couple months between visits, I get cranky and feel an actual physical need to spend some time with them.  This weekend was our long overdue chance to reconnect. 

We celebrated their birthdays at a great outdoor beer garden.  We caught up, we laughed, we talked about love, law, politics, reality TV, food, you know, the usual.  And we had cake.  Of course we had cake! 

Heather is a red velvet with cream cheese frosting junkie, so that's what she got.  I whipped up some chocolate with chocolate buttercream for Erin because she should have a special cake too.  Two birthdays, two types of cake.  Both cakes were a huge hit, but the red velvet was responsible for the marriage proposals flying around everywhere.  Red velvet will do that to you.

  Jay & Heather      

Erin & Corrine

From left, that's Erin, Paula, Heather & yours truly, so happy together!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Blueberry Muffy!

Remember my friend Veena?  Tonight she asked her kiddo, who she calls Muffy, if she wanted to come visit me and eat cake. Muffy yelled in the background "Blueberry!"  The kid knows what's good.  So, since I get to have lunch with Veena tomorrow, I thought I'd surprise the Muffster with some blueberry crumb bars

Admittedly, my pictures are terrible, but the bars are tasty enough to compensate for that.  If you want good pictures, click the link to smitten kitchen.  Deb, smitten kitchen diva, does it all, baking, mothering, photos, funny, all of it.
She's pretty much what I want to be when I grow up. 
I just bake good stuff and take crappy pictures of it.  

Monday, July 5, 2010

First the Parade, then Cupcakes!

My super cute niece & nephew came to check out the 4th of July parade that goes through my teeny tiny neighborhood.  Afterwards, of course, there were cupcakes!