Category Archives: Just for the fun of it!
Labor Day is upon us friends. For many, Labor Day means the end of Summer. Not for me! I refuse to go with that mentality. We still have 3 MORE WEEKS of my very favorite season!
And to celebrate, I’ve made a festive array of summery cupcakes, complete with beach umbrellas, sea shells, and surf boards!
Really the only thing about this weekend that will be “The End” is the destination for these treats! As fellow Long Islanders may have already guessed, we’re heading to Montauk!!
These vanilla, chocolate chip cupcakes topped with vanilla buttercream are for our annual company weekend out East. I stayed up late last night getting them done so we can get an early(ish) start on our roadtrip!
All packed and ready to go, we’ve got our Surfer Bears:
Our Sea Shells for the Sea Shore:
And last but not least, the Beach Bum Bears:
Happy It’s Not Yet the End of Summer Weekend!! (it’s not even really the weekend yet!)
Sorta. As you’ll notice from the lack of activity on this blog, there’s been a lack of baking in my kitchen as well. I’ve been busy with a big deck build over at Titus Road, plus it’s been too hot to bake! But an impromptu BBQ invite from Melinda & Courtney inspired me to fire up the oven in the middle of the summer!
I’ve been coming up with a bunch of fun ideas for different cupcake flavors during my baking hiatus, and the BBQ seemed like a great time to try out my idea for a Key Lime cupcake! The cupcake was made with key lime juice, and then topped with a Cactus Pear Cream Cheese frosting.
Ordinarily I wouldn’t have attempted a cream cheese frosting in an 83 degree kitchen, but the cupcakes had a nice tartness from the key lime juice and buttermilk. A traditional buttercream wouldn’t have been a good pairing. I also have had issues with cream cheese-based frostings in a hot kitchen in the past, so I made sure to keep the frosting cold. After every three cupcakes frosted, I put frosting back into the refrigerator for a few minutes to keep it cool. The cupcakes also went into the ‘fridge once frosted so they’d have a chance to set.
As for the Cactus Pear aspect, flavored the buttercream with Cactus Pear syrup. It’s a very subtle taste, but a nice addition. Plus it has a fun color, (enhanced with neon pink food coloring), a nice complement to the chartreuse color of the cupcakes. I finished them off with pink sprinkles and some festive drink umbrellas!
We’re just starting a 4-day stretch of filming at our studio which means we’ll be relying on catering for breakfast & lunch. This tends to get a bit monotonous, especially when it comes to lunchtime dessert! There’s only so many cookies you can eat (or is there??)
Either way, to mix things up a bit, I baked cupcakes last night for dessert today. Not wanting to stray too far from the expected cookies (they really are among the best around!), I opted for cookie-inspired cupcakes.
The first, chocolate chip! I started with a Vanilla cake and added chocolate chips. They came out looking quite nice! Didn’t try them though. We have a good-sized crew and I didn’t want to be short. They were topped with a vanilla buttercream, mini chips, and a mini chocolate chip cookie.
I also made an Oreo cupcake. The cake itself is chocolate, it’s the frosting that’s full of Oreo bits. The standard frosting for the Oreo cupcake is a whipped cream with ground Oreos.
It’s a great frosting, but a whipped cream topping will not hold up well not being refrigerated! So I went with my trusty buttercream. I ground some more Oreos, mixed them into the cream, piped that onto the cupcakes, and topped them with chocolate sprinkles & half an Oreo.
Since these were my first officially commissioned cupcakes, I felt I needed an official sign or card to promote my services! So with my last remaining bit of energy and patience last night, I created these cards to display with the cupcakes!
Last night we had the pleasure of hosting a little dinner party for Jer’s brothers and sister-in-law. We had steamed clams and mussels to start, then followed that up with homemade pizza. And naturally, no dinner is complete without dessert, so I fired up the oven (these were baked before our guests arrived) and whipped up a quick batch of cupcakes!
I kept it simple with one of my favorites, almond cupcakes! I topped them with a peach-tinted, almond-flavored buttercream. The decorations? Simple- just a little orange-colored sugar and white nonpareils. I baked them in very cute wrappers that say “Eat more cake!” They were part of a very fun cupcake-themed bday gift from my friend Courtney!
Our dinner party was a lot of fun, and the cupcakes were a great way to end the night!
I had some extra frosting, so I made the last cupcake look kinda like a soft-serve ice cream!
Well it’s in the mid-50s today, but just about one month ago, we had our second snow day of the year! And this one came only about two weeks after our last snow day! This winter has been nuts, and there’s actually still snow on the ground from those storms. Hopefully it will be all gone after the warmer weather and rain this week, but in the meantime, I’ll tell you about the second snow-day cupcake I created this year (and hopefully the last snow-day cupcake for this winter!)
This snow day came as quite a surprise, so I didn’t have a whole bunch of baking supplies around. After scouring the cabinets I discovered I did have what I would need to try creating a mocha cupcake.
After perusing the web for a bit, I came upon Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting from the Brown Eyed Baker. They came out great! The cake was moist and had a really nice chocolatey-coffee taste, and the espresso buttercream was light and creamy. The cupcakes could easily be a substitute for your morning coffee, or more likely, a tasty compliment to it!
While the snow is finally starting to melt, it wasn’t too long ago that we were stuck home due to the sheer volume of the white stuff that fell from the sky! I use the term “stuck” loosely though because two of the several days we were “stuck” home were work days!! We actually got not just one, but TWO snow days this year! (I know I’m writing like winter’s over and we’re done with the snow… hopefully I’m not jinxing everyone!)
Anyway, I used both of these days off to try out some new cupcake recipes! The first day we had was in the middle of January. For the occasion, I tried out an almond cupcake with almond frosting.
Over the summer Jer and I did a 50 mile bike tour of the Hamptons, after which we were ravenous! We hit the Townline BBQ (one of our favorites) in Sagaponack for lunch, but after burning probably around 2,000 calories during the ride, figured dessert was well deserved! Plus we were really close to Wainscott Cupcakes, which I had wanted to try for a while! I think Jer got vanilla with vanilla buttercream. I tried their almond cupcake, and it was amazing! So amazing that I wanted to try to make one myself.
I found an almond cupcake recipe on the Food.com website, and they came out great! Very almondy!! The frosting, which I tinted a snowy blue, was an almond buttercream. Not sure where that recipe came from, but it’s basically a traditional buttercream, made with almond extract instead of vanilla. (NOTE: Always use pure extracts. The imitation stuff is gross. Or so I’ve heard.. never wanted to try it.) I topped these guys with a little bit of coconut and some confectioner’s sugar for a snowy finish.
Since I wasn’t going anywhere due to the snow, and had some time to kill, I had a little “glamour shots” session with the cupcakes, and came up with the dramatic image above! The view my co-workers the next day was closer to this: