Cupcake Addiction

You do not need to pinch yourself. You are not dreaming. I am actually writing in my blog! But seriously, it’s not my fault that 2011 was here and gone in a day! Let me tell you a little bit about my crazy year, and I think you’ll understand why writing about cupcakes was put on hold.

Let’s see… it was January 2nd, and I was starting the year off right – just went to a great cupcake place in Tampa, FL and was eating my delicious strawberry cupcake like there was no tomorrow. For me, there pretty much was no tomorrow. Six days after that trip to the cupcake shop in Tampa, my boyfriend of almost five years proposed! The next month, I took a new job as the Marketing Coordinator at North Florida Regional Medical Center (loving it, by the way), and by August 13, I was a married woman! I can’t wait to show all of you my amazing cupcake wedding cake! That will have to wait until another post, but I am sure none of you are surprised by my cupcake wedding cake choice.

As I said when I started off this post, my cupcake addiction is still going as strong as ever. Here are some photos of some of my favorite cupcake memories from 2011 (all made by yours truly).

Strawberry Jelly Cupcakes for My Friend Allison's Surprise Baby Shower

Chocolate Funfetti Birthday Cupcakes

Homemade Roasted Banana Cupcakes

Lemon Cupcakes With Lemon Buttercream Icing

Easter Cupcakes!

While last year was incredibly busy and went by way too fast, it was still a year filled with lots of delicious cupcakes. I enjoyed every last bite of 2011, and I can’t wait to see what 2012 will bring.

Stay tuned for more updates from 2011 including highlights from my Walt Disney World Wedding!

Where did 2010 go? It was almost as if it was here one day and gone the next. It was almost as if the year flew by in 60 seconds.

I’ll tell you one thing that was definitely gone in 60 seconds… my cupcake from The Cupcake Spot in Tampa, FL. For those of you who thought that my lack of blog writing meant that my cupcake addiction was cured, you were wrong!

Mark and I were in Tampa for New Year’s and for the Florida Gator bowl game (Go Gators!). After lunch one day, my cupcake addiction kicked in and I needed one badly. Mark actually was in the mood for a cupcake too, which never happens!

We found a cupcake place about a mile away from our lunch spot, and we bought two cupcakes.

Mark’s cupcake was named “Bunny Hops” and was “a scrumptious blend of carrot, walnuts, nutmeg and cinnamon topped with traditional cream cheese icing.”

My cupcake was called “The Cuppy” which was extremely moist strawberry cake topped with vanilla bean buttercream icing and a sour cherry ball hat.

Mmm...Mmm...Good

We got back in the car, and within 60 seconds, both cupcakes were gone! The cupcake spot wasn’t lying when they said my strawberry cake would be moist. Mark and I agreed that the cake tasted like a Strawberry Quick drink.

Here’s wishing everyone a Happy New Year! Hopefully 2011 will bring you lots of health, happiness, and of course, CUPCAKES!

Being that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays (if not my favorite), and cupcakes are one of my favorite things to make and eat (not surprising coming from a cupcake addict), I couldn’t resist making some Halloween treats. After running out of Halloween candy to pass out to the trick-or-treaters, I even debated passing these out to the kiddies… that might have gotten a little messy though.

My mom had sent me the following recipe last week, and it was too fun to resist.

Here is the actual recipe brought to you by Kitchen Daily:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg. cake mix
  • 1 pkg. JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
  • 1 pkg. PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 pkg. powdered sugar
  • 24 ring-shaped chewy fruit snacks
  • 24 candy-coated chocolate pieces
  • 1 tube decorating gel

Directions:

  1. Prepare cake batter as directed on package. Add dry pudding mix; mix well. Spoon evenly into 24 paper-lined medium muffin cups. Bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool completely.
  2. Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Gradually add sugar, beating well after each addition. Spread evenly onto tops of cupcakes.
  3. Place 1 fruit snack on top of each cupcake. Add 1 candy-coated chocolate piece to center of each fruit snack for the eyeball. Draw squiggly lines with decorating gel from the eyeballs to outsides of fruit snacks to resemble eyeball veins.

I made my spooky eyeballs a little different. I chose to make vanilla/almond cupcakes like I tend to do, and then for the eyeball veins I used Raspberry Cream decorating gel – it gave it a little extra flavor and a lot more of a bloody/eerie look.

Muhahaha! Take a look at my Trick-or-Sweets:

Halloween Eyeball Cupcakes

The cupcakes have eyes...

Monster Face

Scary Little Monster

I recommend these easy cupcakes for your next Halloween! I know it’s a year away, but it will be here before you know it!

Most of my weekday mornings begin with a light breakfast. I either grab a yogurt, some cereal, or a couple of pieces of toast. On the weekends, I get a little crazy (or maybe just a little less lazy) and either cook up some eggs, make some pancakes, or even whip up some french toast or waffles.

All of that is about to change.

Because of my friend John and his new “I like Your Bite” facebook page, my mornings are about to get a little brighter. He has introduced me to French Toast Cupcakes – sounds like the breakfast of champions to me! I can’t wait to make ‘em. Below is the recipe so you can make them as well. Be sure to add comments if you decide to try it out. I will let you know how mine turn out when I make my own batch. And don’t forget to become a fan of I Like Your Bite!

French Toast Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Maple Icing

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. salt
½ cup butter, at room temperature
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
¾ tsp. vanilla extract
4 egg whites, at room temperature
¼ cup maple syrup
½ cup half-and-half, at room temperature
5 strips pre-cooked bacon, chopped

8 oz. pkg. light cream cheese, at room temperature
2 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place paper liners in muffin cups.
  2. Whisk together the first 8 ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Cream butter and sugars in mixer bowl on low speed until combined, 6-8 minutes. Gradually mix in vanilla and egg whites at high speed until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer back to low speed, then add the flour mixture, 1/3 at a time, alternating with maple syrup and half-n-half, ending with flour. Mix until the ingredients are just combined; do not over mix. Fold in bacon.
  4. Pour the batter into muffin tins, filling each cup about ¾ of the way.
  5. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
  6. Meanwhile, make the frosting by beating cream cheese and butter with mixer on medium speed until creamy. Add the powdered sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon; beat until combined. Spread on cooled cupcakes. Makes 12.

Recipe courtesy of Young Chefs Academy of Brandon, FL and I Like Your Bite

Many of you are probably confused by my blog post title for today. With a 31-6 loss at Alabama, it was definitely not a victorious day yesterday for the Gator Nation and our football team.

So, why the victory for the orange and blue, you ask?

Well, since I was going to my friend Melissa’s to watch the game, I could not go empty handed. Therefore, I made orange and blue cupcakes, and they were a hit! Not only did they look pretty, but they tasted good too.

I didn’t make them from scratch. Instead, I used a box of yellow cake mix but added some almond extract to it – yummy! I then used Wilton cake icing and added some almond extract to it as well. I am actually not a huge fan of almond flavoring, but added to the cake mix and icing, it is delicious and keeps the cake even more moist!

I separated the icing into two separate bowls so I could use food coloring to make orange and blue frosting.  The most time-consuming part was when my OCD kicked in. I took a container of star sprinkles which are multicolored (pink, purple, yellow, green, white, blue, and orange). I stood at my kitchen counter, poured them all out on a napkin and removed the blue, orange, and white ones so I could use those to decorate my cupcakes! Now that’s some cupcake decoration dedication!

While my Gator football team did not get the victory yesterday, my orange and blue gameday cupcakes did!

My Orange and Blue Gator Cupcakes

I know some of my friends were asking for my advice on how to make orange and blue cupcakes for the LSU game next weekend. So, I tested it out, and they were victorious.

Let’s hope next weekend, both the gameday cupcakes AND the Gator football team can come out with victories!

Yesterday I came home from work and decided to pick up a book and read. Most people read mysteries, or maybe romances, or even thrillers. Not me. I came home and picked up my Martha Stewart cupcake book and began to read. This is one of the many reasons why I label myself as a “cupcake addict.”

As I was flipping through the pages, page 141 caught my attention. It was titled “Roasted Banana Cupcakes.” As I finished reading the recipe, I immediately got my purse and went to the supermarket so I could get all the ingredients I needed to bake these cupcakes. After I read the recipe, I needed them at that moment!

I was fairly happy with the way they turned out. I say “fairly” because the recipe said to bake the cupcakes for about 20 minutes. I took my cupcakes out of the oven after 18 minutes and to my disappointment, they were already overdone! So, I am sharing the recipe with you but try to take them out of the oven after about 15 minutes to see if they are done.

Did I forget to mention that these roasted banana cupcakes were iced with honey-cinnamon frosting?! It was delicious – perfect complement for the banana flavor.

Ingredients for the cupcakes:

  • 3 ripe bananas, plus 1 to 2 more for garnish
  • 2 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, separated (I chose to use egg beaters)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Place 3 whole unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet and roast 15 minutes (the peels will darken). Meanwhile, sift together cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Remove bananas from oven and let cool before peeling. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add roasted bananas, and beat to combine. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of sour cream, and beating until just combined after each. Beat in vanilla.
  3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 15 minutes (changed from original 20). Let cupcakes cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
  4. Frost your cupcakes with icing recipe below!

Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 tablespoon ground cinnamon (I added about twice that – I really enjoy cinnamon!)
  1. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat all ingredients until smooth. Use immediately, or refrigerate up to 5 days in airtight container; before using, bring to room temperature and beat until smooth.

Let me know if anyone decides to try this and how they turn out! The recipe says it makes 16 cupcakes but it made 24 instead. Enjoy.

Last week I went on vacation… one of the reasons why I have not posted on my blog in awhile.  But now, I’m back in Gainesville, FL to tell you all about my trip. My vacation started in Philadelphia and ended in New York. During my trip, I tried different foods in each city, from cheese steaks to cupcakes. Let’s take a look at the battle between the Philadelphia Cupcake and the Philadelphia Cheese Steak… it was a close race. (If you know me well, you know that’s a lie, and you probably know the outcome. Of course, my cupcake addiction probably gives it away.)

From the moment I landed in the Philadelphia airport, I immediately went on my blackberry’s internet to research where the best cupcake places were in Philly. Mark, on the other hand, went on his phone and researched where the best cheese steaks in Philly were. This was my battle to win. I was going to prove that while the cheese steak may be Philadelphia’s signature food, the cupcake would win over my heart (like it normally does).

The day that we toured the entire city on the “Hop On. Hop Off.” tour bus, we went to Pat’s King of Steaks and to Philly Cupcake. Our food battle started at Pat’s, and let me tell you, Pat’s started off the food battle on a high note. I know this sounds strange, but before going to Philadelphia, I had actually never eaten a Philly Cheese Steak. Well, Pat’s King of Steaks was fabulous. We ordered and had our food within a minute… it was gone within a minute too!

Philly Cheese Steak

Our Cheese Steak from Pat's King of Steaks

After a great start at Pat’s, we then went to Philly Cupcake.

Entrance to Philly Cupcake

They were closed the first day we got to Philly (Monday). I was happy to see the "open" sign on Tuesday!

The Manequin in the Front Window of Philly Cupcake

This is the manequin in the front window of Philly Cupcake. If you look close, you can see she is wearing an ensemble speckled with cupcakes. One of the owners changes her outfits periodically.

Philly Cupcake has only been open for about eight months now, but boy, can those guys bake! It is owned by two guys, and I was lucky enough to meet both of them. Their cupcakery is doing so well that they are already in the process of expanding.

Mike the Owner

Me and Mike, one of the owners of Philly Cupcake

I walked in, and it was like I died and had gone to heaven. There were two large armoires that housed all of the different cupcake flavors. I was immediately greeted by one of Philly Cupcake’s staff who I told that they should compete in Cupcake Wars because their presentation of cupcakes was exquisite. He told me they are actually already signed up to compete next season!

Armoires of Cupcakes

Armoires of Cupcakes

I found out these armoires are vintage and were used at a Victoria’s Secret store over 20 years ago.

It took me awhile to decide on a flavor because their flavors were very unique and all looked delicious. I had a tough decision to make between the “Banana Split,” which was a banana cake with vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate buttercream icing on top and a fondant banana for decoration, and the “Strawberry Lemonade,” which was a lemon cupcake with strawberry buttercream icing and a fondant lemon on top for decoration. It was a hard choice, but I ultimately decided on the Strawberry Lemonade cupcake, and my taste buds were glad I did.

Part of the Cupcake Selection

Part of the Cupcake Selection

My Strawberry Lemonade Cupcake

My Delicious Strawberry Lemonade Cupcake

The lemon cake was moist and had the perfect amount of lemon flavor. The strawberry frosting was… so good I cannot even put it into words.

Mark, who isn’t a huge fan of cupcakes (I know, I know… he’s odd), had something to satisfy his taste buds too. He had a couple of chocolate covered Swedish Fish candies. Philly Cupcake makes all different kinds of chocolate covered candies and pretzels.

While this shop has only been open for eight months, it takes the cake over any other cupcake place I’ve been to. (Yes, even Sweet! by Good Golly Missy Holly comes in second)

So, while the Philly Cheese Steak was surprisingly delicious, nothing takes the cake over my Philly Cupcake.

Stay tuned for more posts about my trip and the foods (or, let’s be honest, the cupcakes) that won over my heart and those that fell short.

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