Soft White Vanilla Cupcakes

Light and fluffy soft white vanilla cupcakes perfect for topping in your favorite icing or stuffing with your favorite filling.

Soft White Classic Vanilla Cupcakes

In The Beginning

Before the Kahlua Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes and long before the Almost Legendary Apple Bacon Cupcakes, I made a classic and familiar favorite. That favorite is Vanilla.

Some folks can attest I have said, ” I don’t do vanilla.”

Soft White Classic Vanilla Cupcakes

I initially hesitated to share this recipe. Not because I wanted to keep it a secret or anything. I just felt vanilla was a little too boring and mainstream for the Cupcakeasaurus Cupcaking Community. I felt under-inspired. Then I remembered that so many cupcake recipes start with a base and then creativity can add new ingredients and flavors. To build, first, you need a foundation. Vanilla cupcakes can be your foundation.

Join our community on Facebook to share your creations and get support from other home bakers.

New Year, New You

I keep hearing this “New Year, New You” mantra. I can’t get over how every new year brings this feeling of starting fresh and new. For many, this mantra is just a sales advertisement for a new weight loss program or fitness membership.  Not for me. In all honesty, I love it. I love creating a lengthy list of year-long goals.  I even have Captain Cupcakeasaurus and Little Cakeasaurus Rex create a list of their goals too. Maybe I just like being able to scratch them off as we accomplish them.

Around June, we look back at our list and reevaluate. Some goals we smash without hesitation. Some of them we abandon without regret. Others change as our lives and interests change.  As seen in A Letter to My Past Self, so many life changes can happen in a year. Our goals need to adjust accordingly.

Soft White Classic Vanilla Cupcakes

Perhaps, look at these vanilla cupcakes as a clean slate.  You can start with something fresh and simple and then make it your own. Life may throw any number of fun ingredients at you this year.

Soft White Vanilla Cupcakes

You can rarely go wrong with vanilla cupcakes. Even the most sophisticated of tastes, can appreciate a light and fluffy white vanilla cake.

There is something to be said for being a classic.

If you are adding this recipe to your list of foundation recipes (which you should be) make sure to grab my free baking conversion cheat sheet. Hanging this baby in the cabinet has been a lifesaver when trying to convert and reduce recipes.

Free Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet

Vanilla Crisis

With the Vanilla Crisis, I wonder how long vanilla will maintain classic status. Vanilla Crisis? Some of you may be happily using imitation vanilla extract and have not noticed.

The rest of you purchasing pure vanilla extract I’m sure have noticed the dramatic hike in prices. This crisis is due to a cyclone that passed through Madagascar wiping out many of the vanilla crops. You can learn more about how this vanilla shortage has affected bakeries, businesses and you on Eater.

Soft White Classic Vanilla Cupcakes

Changing Up Vanilla

These days, I am often doctoring my own recipes to fit a new flavor combination or decorate the cupcakes up for a particular holiday.  I sometimes forget that we all have to start with the basics.  Still one of the most requested flavors of cupcakes; everyone should have a “go to” vanilla cupcake recipe in their collection.

Soft White Classic Vanilla Cupcakes

These soft white vanilla cupcakes are perfect for filling with edible blood for Vampire Bite cupcakes like I did in Halloween Spooktacular Disaster. It is also perfect for filling with cream, chocolate or preserves for a festive holiday treat. A fresh fruit filling can add pizazz to any treat or occasion.

I hope that you will find this recipe to satisfy your vanilla cupcake tastes but also inspire you to create something unique and different.

Soft White Classic Vanilla Cupcakes

 Let Me Know

Are you a fan of vanilla? Have you noticed the hike in vanilla prices? Will the hike in prices change your baking habits? What are you planning on adding to your vanilla cupcakes to make them less… vanilla? What fun flavors would you like to see me explore?

Soft White Vanilla Cupcakes
Print Recipe
A light and fluffy soft white vanilla cupcake perfect for topping in your favorite icing or stuffing with your favorite filling.
Servings Prep Time
18 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
18 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Soft White Vanilla Cupcakes
Print Recipe
A light and fluffy soft white vanilla cupcake perfect for topping in your favorite icing or stuffing with your favorite filling.
Servings Prep Time
18 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
18 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat egg whites on medium speed until frothy.
  2. Add granulated sugar to the egg whites. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Once the egg white mixture has formed stiff peaks, add in oil and mix thoroughly.
  5. Add a third of the flour mixture to the egg white mixture. Then add in half of the Greek yogrut.
  6. Alternate additions of the dry ingredients with the Greek yogurt until last third of flour mixture is added. Mix on medium speed until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  7. Fold in white vinegar and vanilla extra with a spatula. Incorporate throughout batter but do not over mix.
  8. Fill lined cupcake tins 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 min. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake another 10 min. A toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcake will come out clean.
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A Letter to My Past Self

A letter to my past self to reflect on 2017 and start a new year with a new mindset.

A letter to my past self

Dear 2017 Raquel,

Being a fan of Back to the Future and Doctor Who, I am very aware of the consequences of interfering with timelines and spoilers. However, I was challenged by Aimee from Bold & Free Babes to write a letter to my past self, to you, and encourage you through 2017.

You know that thinking ahead has always been tough for us. We have a hard time making plans three months ahead because our lives tend to change pretty drastically pretty quickly. This year is no exception. You are in for a whole ton of changes.

It is amazing how many of those changes happen this year and how many we forget as time passes. I had to review my Facebook feed just to remember some of the highlights.

January

January starts off strong and social. You host two sets of family friends over for a family style dinner. You always enjoy expressing your love to others through food. What a way to start a new year! This might need to become a yearly tradition.

Building a Tank

In March, you build a tank! It isn’t quite life-size or operational but that doesn’t stop your son from having the most awesome army Nerf battle birthday party ever. Lots of planning and preparation pay off in a big way. The kiddo and all his friends have a super fun time battling around pallets and stacked tires in the backyard. The tank was all the kid talked about for months after.

tank

The Crash

I hate to tell you this but, in April your car of ten plus years is totaled… by your husband. Everyone is safe and that’s the most important part. Don’t worry, Buttercup, it isn’t all bad. You end up purchasing a new vehicle you absolutely love that better suits your growing business and family needs.

car crash

Collabs

Sometime during these early months, you decide to buckle down on the blog. You start connecting with other bloggers and creating custom recipes for them. This is a gateway to connections that continue to add value to your life and business.

You can check out some of these collaborations: Vera’s Peach Spice Cupcakes with Kiwi Sparkler Icing, Wonderwoman Egg Free Red Velvet Cupcakes, Baby Z’s Perfectly Pear Cupcake, Triple Chocolate Cupcakes, Beauty Bae Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes. Even the collaboration that introduced you to Aimee to begin with, Bold and Free Vegan Avocado Chocolate Cupcakes.

A letter to my past self concert

Concerts

This year you attend your very first “real” concert. We’ve been to punk shows in art galleries and basements but this time the band is on a stage. You go to see Third Eye Blind with your best friend. In fact, you don’t just go to one, but two this year. She takes you to Third Eye Blind so you take her to see Sister Hazel several months later. I am pretty sure going to a concert has been on our bucket list for awhile.

A letter to my past self concert

Friends

In an effort to be more mobile and get healthier, you begin going on adventures to local state parks with a friend. Your walks are therapeutic and do wonders for your mental and physical health. This actually becomes a weekly activity you manage to maintain throughout the year.

This year must be the year of friendships. During an Email List Building Challenge in July, you make your first blogging bestie. You connect over creative ideas. Something clicks and all of a sudden you don’t feel as lonely in the business anymore. You have a companion that understands the struggles and also celebrates the triumphs. She is great for accountability and when you desperately need a cheerleader.

July

This summer you have family visit you for the first time since moving to Florida (two years ago). It feels like a full house with six house guests but there is nothing to be nervous about. The kiddo loves having his family visit and he enjoys showing off where he lives and all the beaches and favorite places around town.

A letter to my past self boats on water sunset

BlogCon

By choosing to attend a blogging event in August, you shine as you meet lots of other bloggers and networkers. It is worth every penny and you end up making that money back in prizes. I am not even kidding.

A letter to my past self

You are able to then improve and grow your business through the connections you initiate. One of these connections has become invaluable to you and is currently working on your site right now as I write.

Always remember to follow up.

The Hurricane

After the stress of the wedding last year, you may hope to have a sweet romantic anniversary this year. You will not celebrate the way you hope. You will go through a scary but humbling experience as you survive a massive hurricane headed straight for your home.

During this experience, you will learn what matters most to you, how you handle a crisis situation and how your friends and family react to your crisis. I am impressed with your strength and grace during such a stressful time. Apparently, baking really is our coping mechanism. The fire department won’t complain though.

A letter to my past self hurricane box

You always imagined during the Zombie Apocolypse that you would be feeding the masses and creating masterpieces out of a bag of beans and canned beats.  Imagining yourself in a crisis situation and reality can be quite different. However, you really pulled through and baked your booty off. You can reminisce about this experience in the post for Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes.

Life Changer

Your big life-changing month comes in October though. After a year of stress and paperwork, the step-parent adoption and name change for the kiddo is finalized. You decide to make MsCupcakeasaurus a bakery and not just a blog. You reach your highest weight and decide enough is enough. You start a nutrition program that you are more than determined to stick with. That determination pays off, Girl. Keep it up! You get some disappointing but expected news from the doctor and realize your family planning isn’t going as planned. This does not stop your household from growing by one more member though. I promise you will love him and realize what all the fuss over dogs is all about.

A letter to my past self brindle dog

Your month is so hectic you don’t even write about it for a couple months. You can check out your October in Black As My Soul Chocolate Cupcakes.

Thanksgiving

Yearly, you visit your grandmother in North Carolina for Thanksgiving. This year she actually lets you help a bit. She isn’t feeling great but she does get better. Try not to worry too much; she is a feisty stubborn woman but that is what keeps her going. This is a great opportunity to bond with your aunt while she is in town.

Year-End Thoughts

By the time the year closes, you will have lost forty pounds! You are persevering more than I ever expected. You are thriving, making the changes you want to see in your life. I am so incredibly proud of you and all of the ways you have found to grow your friendships, your business and yourself for the better.

A letter to my past self

Hang in there, Cupcake, you’ve got this!

Love and Sprinkles,

2018 Raquel

Your Year

I hope you enjoyed this Letter to My Past Self. I am going to pass this challenge along to you. As we start a new year, try to take a moment to reflect on this past year and focus on all the ups and downs that you have survived and celebrated. I was reluctant to write this letter. I started writing what I wished I had done differently in 2017, and all of a sudden I was writing about all of the accomplishments for the year. I don’t expect that everyone has started a business or crashed a car but I know you have had your own ups and downs and I would love for you to reflect on those moments and acknowledge how far you have come.

A Letter to My Past Self

I would love for you to share your letters with me. Any method you feel comfortable with sharing, I am open to receiving.

In the comments below, let me know what you are most proud of 2017 You accomplishing and what you hope to do in 2018.

Today we are making life taste sweeter by taking a look back.

Cranberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

These Cranberry Cheesecake Cupcakes will keep everyone happy through the holidays and into the new year. A festive holiday treat; creamy cheesecake cupcakes with a tart yet sweet cranberry sauce topping.

Cranberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Cranberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Almost anyone can tell you I am a super huge fan of alliterations. This Christmas treat is no exception. You can serve Kris Kringle, the kids, and all the cousins this Christmas with these Cranberry Cheesecake Cupcakes.  Ok, I get it. Too much alliteration is just as bad as your Uncle Ernie that always makes the ridiculous puns and always finds himself funnier than anyone else does.

These really are awesome for everyone though. There is something about a cheesecake that folks just cannot resist. Can you blame them? Me neither!

Cranberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Instagram Inspiration

This cupcake inspiration came from Instagram. I have been following Tameka’s Corner for several months now. Tameka always comments on my cupcake pictures and I am constantly eyeballing all of her fun traveling adventures. You can join me in following her here.

Let me tell you, Tameka does a little bit of everything! I don’t see how she does it all! Her site is chocked full of information on beauty, lifestyle, travel, product reviews and so much more. I love living vicariously through her adventures.

Cranberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

We spoke a few months ago about a recipe for her family. I believe she said her husband really enjoyed cheesecake and her daughter didn’t like chocolate. I couldn’t believe her daughter didn’t like chocolate. Who is this kid? I’m kidding.

Cranberries seemed like a festive addition that her entire family could get excited about and enjoy.

Cranberry Sauce Versus Jelly

Captain Cupcakeasaurus always loves having Cranberry “sauce” for his holiday meals. He calls it sauce. The rest of us would call it Cranberry Jelly. You know the can of cranberry gel that flops out in one glop and still has the ripples from the can to guide you where to slice? We’ve all had it at one time or other. I actually quite enjoy it myself. So much so, I had never tried real cranberry sauce.

I was walking through Aldi and there was a bag of fresh cranberries just eyeing me down. I couldn’t resist. The decision was made; I would have to give real fresh cranberry sauce a try and I am so glad I did.

Cranberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

The cranberry topping is essentially cranberry sauce just spooned over the top of each cheesecake. So, if you are wanting just real fresh cranberry sauce for your holiday, the recipe is the same for the topping. Feel free to serve some on your cheesecake and spoon some up with your turkey and dressing.

Cranberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Happy Holidays!

The stress of the holidays can really get anyone and everyone in a funk. I know it is supposed to be magical but I swear all the hustle and stress can really wear on you.

Whether you are hosting a big holiday event, be it party or dinner, or baking favorite holiday treats like sugar cookies and rum balls, try to remember to take a few minutes to yourself and just breathe. A little self-care can go a long way.

Free Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet

 

Try to take a few moments to reflect and embrace the moment with your family and friends. Take a bite of a Cranberry Cheesecake Cupcake if you need it and have a happy holiday.

Cranberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

From my family to yours, Happy Holidays! No matter what you are celebrating, know that I am thinking of you and can’t wait to hear about it. Send me an email to catch me up on all the details. Really, I’d love to hear from you.

Cranberry Cheesecake Cupcakes
Cranberry Cheesecake Cupcakes
Print Recipe
A festive holiday treat; creamy cheesecake cupcakes with a tart yet sweet cranberry sauce topping.
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Cranberry Cheesecake Cupcakes
Cranberry Cheesecake Cupcakes
Print Recipe
A festive holiday treat; creamy cheesecake cupcakes with a tart yet sweet cranberry sauce topping.
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
Cheesecake cupcakes
Cranberry topping
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Cheesecake cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl mix together the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar. Blend together until crumbs are the consistancy of wet sand.
  3. Line cupcake tin with paper liners. Spoon graham cracker mixture evenly into each tin. Press to the bottom with the back of a spoon.
  4. Bake on 325 for about 5-8 minutes until browned. Let cool while preparing the filling.
  5. In a large mixing bowl of an electric mixer, cream the softened cream cheese until smooth.
  6. Add Greek yogurt and sugar to the cream cheese and beat on medium speed until well mixed.
  7. Add eggs one at a time, mixing between each addition. Make sure to scrape sides to ensure batter is fully incorporated.
  8. Using a spatula, fold in vanilla. Spoon batter evenly into each cupcake tin. Batter does not rise so fill liner to just below the rim.
  9. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. The cupcakes can cool completely in the cupcake tins. Refrigerate to chill and serve with cranberry sauce topping.
Cranberry topping
  1. Wash and drain cranberries. In a medium sauce pan, add cranberries, orange juice, sugar and allspice.
  2. Stir together and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 15 minutes. Let cool before topping cupcakes.
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Black As My Soul Chocolate Cupcakes

Enjoy these Black As My Soul Chocolate Cupcakes for your Halloween party, or your Christmas party, or your Nightmare Before Christmas party. This rich dark black chocolate cake is topped with a chemical-free tasting black as night chocolate buttercream.

Black Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Black Chocolate Buttercream

Halloween to Christmas

It is December, Y’all! This year is almost over and I can’t even get over the last month. November? No, I mean the one before that! I will record October 2017 as the month that officially changed everything.

A Month In Review

October Week One

Captain Cupcakeasaurus and I started working on a stepparent adoption for Little Cakeasaurus Rex over a year ago. The adoption was finally completed in September and the new birth certificate was delivered. I am so filled with love that our little cakeasaurus family is complete and all sharing the same last name.

The first weekend of October we celebrated with friends and family and of course cupcakes. There were games that included trivia, baby food guessing, and a beer chugging through baby bottle competition.  It was fun for all but that was just the start of this hectic month.

Halloween Black Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Black Chocolate Buttercream

October Week Two

The very next weekend we were celebrating a very special birthday for a very special woman. My mother-in-law, that we affectionately call Grams Cracker celebrated her 70th birthday!

The party was hosted out in the country and the theme was Wild Woman that fits her cowgirl personality that enjoys roping, riding, shooting, and hunting. This time we celebrated with friends, family, freshly smoked wild hog (shot by Gram’s Cracker herself) and some more cupcakes.

October Week Three

Somewhere between week two and week four, everything started changing.

I registered MsCupcakeasaurus LLC as a Florida business and began working on the transition from full-time blogger to a full-time baker.

MsCupcakeasaurus is now a cottage bakery and I am able to sell cupcakes directly to local customers.

I know! I can hardly believe it myself! I’m a business owner, Y’all! How exciting is that?! You kept telling me that you just wanted the cupcakes and I listened. I’m doing everything I can to get you the cupcakes you want and love. I know you are still waiting for me to be able to ship these beauties out of state. I am working in that direction but right now the cottage bakery regulations allow me to start small and build from there.

In Other News

If starting a business wasn’t enough, I also started a new weight loss plan and we adopted a new fur baby to the family. He is a beautiful brindle hound mix that we call Turret. The pup has been a great addition to our family and quite the motivation to get out walking more.

Brindle hound puppy red collar

Oh, you noticed how I skipped right over that weight loss plan? Yeah, well, I am determined to get my life in the direction I want it to be in. The starting of the business really made me reevaluate my life goals. If I can accomplish one, then why not all of them? What goals have you been putting off that you want to tackle? They don’t have to be New Year’s resolutions if you can start on them right now.

Let me know in the comments below. No, really, I want to know. What are you working on or struggling with or just really want to get ahold of?

Halloween Black Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Black Chocolate Buttercream

October Week Four

The last week of October was swallowed up with Halloween. Typically one of my favorite holidays, the decorations are usually set up all month long. I enjoy decorating the house and spending a full month developing a super awesome costume for myself and really the whole family.

This year, the skeletons didn’t get put in the yard until the week of Halloween. I didn’t decide on a costume until the Tuesday before the party. I jetted to the craft store and spent two days on a crafting binge to throw this idea together at the last minute.

We threw a costume party the weekend before the holiday and celebrated all dressed up with our favorite people, punch, and … you guessed it MORE cupcakes!

Halloween Black Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Black Chocolate Buttercream

Black As My Soul Chocolate Cupcakes

My first order for cupcakes was a custom order to celebrate the Halloween holiday. The client requested “Black As My Soul” cupcakes. Do you have any idea how dark that is? I went for the blackest of black dark chocolate cupcakes with a pure black chocolate buttercream. The client was pleased and shared their “soul” cupcakes with their coworkers.

The cake base is similar to the Kahlua Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes but I subtracted the Kahlua and added a little black dye just to ensure maximum darkness. You can’t really have “Black As My Soul” cupcakes if they turn out chocolate brown.

My Not-So-Chemical Romance

Have you ever had a cake from a grocery store or even homemade that used far too much coloring in the icing? It usually happens with the colors red and black. Inevitably someone is trying to turn a white icing into a deep dark color and they just keep adding food coloring over and over until the desired color is reached. The color might be nice but the flavor is disgusting. So much dye makes the icing taste like chemicals and it can totally ruin an otherwise delicious cake. If you’ve tasted it, you know exactly what I am talking about.

Something that many home bakers don’t know is food dye, especially red and black, needs to rest for awhile to deepen the color. If you are mixing up a black buttercream and it is looking more gray than black, before adding any more dye, cover your bowl and put it in the refrigerator a while.

Now, the first time I did this two things happened. One, the icing in the frig was STILL gray! Two, I learned that sometimes it takes resting a few rounds before becoming the right color.

After two rounds of adding dye and refrigerating, I was still worried when the icing was gray toned instead of a beautiful rich black color. But, never fear, the icing started thawing as I was working with it. As it warmed, it became the truest blackest icing I have ever seen. The best part? It tasted like delicious chocolate icing and not some chemistry experiment went wrong.

Nightmare Before Christmas

Is it weird to talk about Halloween in December? A little. But, a very favorite Christmas movie is The Nightmare Before Christmas and I believe it straddles the two holidays quite nicely. I am sure these cupcakes would be Jack approved. So, if you want to try these awesome cupcakes in the off-season, you have all of my permission.

Halloween Black Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Black Chocolate Buttercream

What was that again?

Let me recap a bit. In one month, we completed a stepparent adoption, celebrated a birthday, started a business, started a diet, adopted a puppy and hosted a Halloween party. I know you probably get all that done before breakfast, but I was a little overwhelmed, to say the least. There are so many things to be excited for and I can not wait to share all of them with you!

I hope you love these cupcakes as much as my client did. Make sure to share your creations in the Cupcakeasaurus Cupcake Community on Facebook.

Today we are making life taste sweeter by bringing a little darkness to December.

Black As My Soul Halloween Cupcakes
Print Recipe
This rich dark black chocolate cake is topped with a chemical-free tasting black as night chocolate buttercream.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20-25 minutes 2-4 hours
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20-25 minutes 2-4 hours
Black As My Soul Halloween Cupcakes
Print Recipe
This rich dark black chocolate cake is topped with a chemical-free tasting black as night chocolate buttercream.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20-25 minutes 2-4 hours
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20-25 minutes 2-4 hours
Ingredients
Black Chocolate Cupcakes
Black Chocolate Buttercream
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Black Chocolate Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brew coffee and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a large mixing bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachement, beat eggs and sugar on medium speed.
  3. Add vegetable oil to sugar mixture and mix in thoroughly.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients of flour, cocoa, baking soda, bakind powder, and salt.
  5. Alternating between the dry ingredients and the Greek yogurt, add about a third at a time to the sugar mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly on medium speed after each addition.
  6. Add coffee and black dye to batter and mix until well blended and color is mixed throughout.
  7. Using a spatula, fold in vanilla extract.
  8. Fill cupcake tins two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before icing.
Black Chocolate Buttercream
  1. In a large bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, cream butter on high speed for about four minutes.
  2. Add sifted powdered sugar to the butter one cup at a time, mixing thoroughly between each addition.
  3. Add cocoa powder and salt to butter mixture and beat on medium speed.
  4. Add in one ounce of black dye and mix thoroughly until the dye is mixed evenly throughout the icing.
  5. Refrigerate icing for about two hours to let the dye deepen in color.
  6. Remove from refrigerator and beat on medium speed until icing warms to room temperature. Add additional ounce of black dye. Mix the dye thoroughly throughout the icing.
  7. If icing still appears gray, place in refrigerator to sit another one to two hours. The color deepens as it sits.
  8. Remove from refrigerator and allow icing to warm to room temperature to ensure desired color is achieved. Ice completely cooled cupcakes.
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Five Ways to Say Thank You

Saying Thank You can be hard. It doesn’t have to be. Here are five easy ways to say Thank You.

Call this my post-Thanksgiving reflection on being thankful. Typically, I make a list all November long of all the little blessings in my life. This time, I think there are lots of people that could use a reminder of what gratefulness looks like in their relationships.

We have a village that helps make us who we are and taking a little extra time to show our appreciation can help improve our relationships and ourselves. Saying Thank You never hurt anyone.

5 Easy Ways to Say Thank You

My grandma is a classic woman. Raised during the Depression, she has very specific ideas about the way the world should be and what behaviors are deemed polite. A respectable woman would never have brightly colored hair or tattoos. I’m sorry Grandma, I guess I ‘m just not that kind of respectable.

However, some of those ingrained polite philosophies are not lost on me. She sends me Thank You notes for everything. I received a personalized Thank You note for her April birthday gift. I received another thanking me for her Mother’s Day flowers. She sent me Thank You notes for gifts I didn’t give a second thought about after I sent them to her. I love her and care for her and certainly do not require a Thank You note. Every time I receive one though, I think about her upbringing and how meaningful it is that she sends that extra Thank You.

These days, Thank You notes are really only routinely sent out for big events or big gifts.  Weddings get the most attention when it comes to Thank You notes. But then, weddings are a big event and usually include big gifts.

When my son, (LCRex), turned eight a few months ago, I helped him write his own Thank You notes to show appreciation for his party guests and the gifts he received. It didn’t take long to do but I think it was an important lesson to share with him about gratitude.

Thank You notes, especially for little things, can show your appreciation for the person more than just what the person can do for you.

 

How can you show appreciation?

5 Easy Ways to Say Thank You

1. Say Thank You

I know this is so silly. You would be surprised how often it gets overlooked and forgotten. Don’t forget those manners Grandma taught us. Say Thank You and mean it.

Sometimes saying “Thank You” isn’t always sufficient appreciation to show the gratitude we have for those that treat us well. This is especially true for those that routinely come to our aid.

2. Make it Easy for Them

Wondering what I mean? I mean, if someone is doing you a favor or performing a job for you without pay, the least you could do is make it easier for them.

In my kitchen, for example, Captain Cupcakeasaurus takes on doing all the dishes for me. To show my appreciation for this unloved chore, I try to make sure to keep the number of dishes low, and I take extra care to soak anything that may be stuck to the pan. This is just an example of common consideration.

When you have a last-minute sitter caring for your children, you can make the job easier in a few ways. You can write out important information about sleep and eating routines, medications and allergies, and any other emergency contact information.

You can also pack a bag for your child if they are being dropped off somewhere else. Anything you would pack in a bag for a road trip would probably be helpful to a sitter. Include a change of clothes, extra diapers or undies, a couple toys, etc. Providing everything they need to care for your child will show that you appreciate their time in caring for them.

5 Easy Ways to Say Thank You

When someone offers to help clean your house, you can make their job easier by making your bed and putting dirty clothes in the hamper. When someone offers to watch your pet in their home during your vacation, take the extra time to ensure your pet is flea free and healthy before you go. Again, these are just examples of common considerations.

These are ways that, if done right, can easily show your appreciation. If done wrong, or worse yet not done at all, these are all ways to quickly make a friend feel undervalued. Not only will they be less likely to help you out in the future, they will also no longer want to remain friends. No one likes feeling unappreciated or undervalued.

3. Give Them Breaks

This becomes super important for those relationships that develop sometimes where we find ourselves in a tight spot and rely on the help of others on a consistent basis.

Help is only considered help if you are the one doing most of the work. Click To Tweet

Try to remember help is only considered help if you are the one doing most of the work.

When someone is routinely helping you, there are several ways to show your appreciation. The number one way to say Thank You in a situation like this is to acknowledge their needs. Everyone has a breaking point and something as simple as a break can help show your appreciation.

Extended use of a friend’s services can wear on them. Little things, that under different circumstances would blow over, can start to fester and build into resentment. It is important, for the sake of the friendship, that you acknowledge their needs and provide relief sometimes. Just offering a break lets them know that you care about them and consider their needs.

5 Easy Ways to Say Thank You

4. Trade

This is one of the easiest ways to thank the people that take care of you.  Some may even call it Tit for Tat. When someone does a service for you, offer to do a service for them in return. Everyone has skills of some sort and even if you feel like you don’t, I’m sure you know someone who does.

I bake. That is my service. I bake cupcakes for all sorts of return services. You picked up my kid from school when I was running late? Here, have some cupcakes! You helped paint the front porch? Here, have some brownies!

Free Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet

A special home cooked dinner can be a great way to show similar appreciation for those you love. They feel appreciated and you get to enjoy a family dinner with them.

5. Gifts and Tips

You tip your waiter and your hairdresser. You tip service people you pay, why wouldn’t you tip someone that you don’t? It can’t hurt to give a little gift or tip to say Thank You to those friends in our life providing unpaid services.

Any service someone is providing for you is tip-able. Click To Tweet

Any service someone is providing for you is tip-able.

We are most familiar with the Beer and Pizza tip we give to those that have been roped into helping us move. Really any service deserves the same consideration.

When you have an early meeting and a coworker is covering it for you, bring them coffee! When your friend has spent the afternoon helping you build Ikea furniture, buy them lunch! A gift card for lunch works just as well. It shows you care and appreciate their help.

5 Easy Ways to Say Thank You

Saying Thank You doesn’t have to be hard. Many times showing appreciation just takes being considerate. Our friends are willing to take the extra time to help us out, the least we can do is take the extra five minutes to thank them.

I guarantee showing appreciation for the people that help us will improve all of our relationships. Everyone likes to feel appreciated. What better way to make life taste sweeter than by thanking those glorious sweet morsels that help get us here?

How do you show appreciation for the ones you love? Are there any other simple ways we can show consideration? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes and My First Cake

Chunky Monkey cupcakes made of sweet banana cake topped with peanut butter cream cheese icing and a look back at my very first cake.

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

Cupcakes to Cake

You guys know I am all about the cupcakes. Every week you guys watch me pull flavors together into bite-sized mouthfuls of joy and call them cupcakes. And being MsCupcakeasaurus, why wouldn’t I be?

Something you may not know is that I have been caking for almost eight years. By caking, I don’t just mean whipping a mix together and slathering icing over it.

The Art of Caking

Caking involves idea preparation by gathering source materials and analyzing size and shape to determine the best fit for the cake being prepared. It means drawing up plans and sketches and paying attention to all the little details. It means sculpting the cake like a statue emerging from marble. Caking is art after all.

 

Free Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet

Over the years, I have not always taken pictures or written step by step tutorials or documented every step of the journey along the way. I make cakes because I enjoy caking. I enjoy bringing the food to art and the art to food.

Flavor combinations are my chemistry experiments and dimensional cakes are my masterpieces. I love playing with new techniques, new materials or ingredients. One of the reasons I enjoy caking so much is that it feels like an art form that I can continuously learn from. That, and they taste good.

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

 Today, I will be sharing with you my very first ever caking endeavor.

You may have noticed that I have been caking for as long as I have been a mom. The very first cake I really put my heart and soul into was for Little Cakeasaurus Rex’s first birthday. When he isn’t busy being a dinosaur, he is busy being a monkey. We lovingly nicknamed him Monkey since he was a baby.

As any over zealous mom would be, I created a theme of monkeys and immediately started developing ideas for his main cake and his smash cake. He had blow-up monkeys to toss around, monkey plates and napkins and of course a monkey cake. He had a cake for his guests and he had a personal smash cake.

The Smash Cake

Every little kid needs a smash cake for their first birthday. It is the tradition! I love smash cakes for the little ones. That first birthday is all about seeing their little eyes bulge out of their heads with sugar. There is nothing like taking that first fistful of delicious cake.

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

For the smash cake, I decided to go with a German chocolate cake and have the coconut frosting serve as the textured monkey fur. Admittedly, my skills at the time were limited and the monkey face looked more like a bear but Little Cakeasaurus Rex loved it. He had no problem figuring out what to do with his smash cake. Hands in the cake and then straight to the mouth.

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

Little Chunky Monkey

I love watching little ones feed themselves at this age because they still fist their food and are practically licking their palms. Too cute!

I’ll remember next time that monkey ears should be more on the side of the face rather than on the top. Also, don’t mind the little yellow hair tuft I tried to create. Monkeys can be blonde too, right?

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

 

The Guest Cake

The cake for the guests was a large vanilla sheet cake with a large mound of banana cake on top. I was so inexperienced and had no clue what I was doing. I went totally overboard on measuring out how much cake I would need for a one-year-old’s birthday party. In true First Time Mom fashion, I made enough to feed everyone at the party, the park and halfway down the street.

To give you an idea, I had no clue how to even carry this large of a cake to a park two blocks from the house. I purchased a huge white plastic cutting board and that became my caking station. I still use this cutting board as my preferred surface for rolling fondant or cutting out biscuits.

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

In all honesty, I baked two 9×12 inch cakes for the base. I slid them together and covered them with icing. If you are counting, that is a total of four standard cakes for one party. This was the first time I would bake that much cake for one party but it definitely wasn’t  the last.

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

If you are wondering, it is no secret how I made the dome-shaped cake. I didn’t have a pan that shape that is for sure. I actually used a stainless steel mixing bowl and baked it right in the oven.

Obviously, be careful when using alternative baking pans but, the bowl worked out great and I still use it for other caking endeavors. I will remind you to take a good look at the shape of the bowl though. If you are wanting a hill shape like I was, you will want a shallower bowl to create a soft mound. However, I have also used a much deeper mixing bowl to create the Drunken Carolina Cake so that I had enough space for good sized cake layers.

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

Monkey Time

The idea I was wanting to create was a mischievous monkey sitting atop a huge pile of bananas. The pile of bananas had to be made of banana cake of course. The banana cake wasn’t going to be enough though.

Nothing quite looks like a pile of bananas than a pile of bananas. After icing, I also completely covered the mound in Banana Rama candy pieces I purchased from a local candy shop.

Heap of Bananas birthday cakeOriginally, all the bananas were going to be yellow bananas but this is a very mischievous monkey and he needed some colored bananas too. The monkey was a purple monkey bath toy so it was super safe for the kiddo to enjoy long after his party was over.  A funky colored monkey totally deserves a pile of funky colored bananas.

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

To add a bit more decoration without going overboard any further, I added Piroulines around the outside edge of the sheet cake which provided great bamboo. A few green leaves and blades of grass with green icing and I had my masterpiece.

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

Can you tell I was proud of myself? I made a little card label with a silly monkey sticker for good measure. I am so proud that this was my first caking adventure. It brings back wonderful memories of my little one’s first birthday and it was the start of a wonderful adventure I still pursue today.

Still A Monkey

The kiddo still embraces his monkey side by collecting cute monkeys we find on our adventures. Currently, we have one from Cape Canaveral and Tampa Zoo.  Just a few weeks ago, I offered my little monkey a special treat.

I treated LCR to Chunky Monkey Cupcakes!

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

These moist banana cupcakes remind me very much of that original banana cake but in smaller cupcake form.  Top that off with a peanut butter cream cheese icing and you will be making all the monkeys smile.

Even walking down memory lane, I couldn’t leave you hanging without a scrumptious cupcake recipe to keep you satisfied.

You have now seen where the caking magic started. Tell me about your baking start. Do you remember your first real baking endeavor as an adult? I clarified that sentence because I was baking and cooking tons growing up. This one just sticks out in my mind as the first cake I researched and planned and put my heart and love into making.

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

Do you have that one dish or cake that sparked your love for it? I’d love to hear all about it or better yet, see it.

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes
Chunky Monkey Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Chunky Monkey cupcakes made of sweet banana cake topped with peanut butter cream cheese icing
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Chunky Monkey Cupcakes
Chunky Monkey Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Chunky Monkey cupcakes made of sweet banana cake topped with peanut butter cream cheese icing
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Ingredients
Banana Cupcakes
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Icing
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Banana Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat bananas, eggs and sugar on medium high speed until forming a thick mash.
  3. Add vegetable oil to the banana mixture and mix thoroughly.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Gradually add dry ingredients to the wet, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
  6. Using a spatula, fold in vanilla extract. Spoon batter into cupcake tim filling cups 3/4 full.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Toothpick will come out clean when cupcakes are done. Cool on a cooling rack before icing.
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Icing
  1. In a large mixing bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat softened cream cheese until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Add in half a cup of peanut butter and mix on medium speed until well bleneded.
  3. Add powdered sugar to cream cheese mixture a cup at a time mixing thoroughly between each addition.
  4. Add milk and vanilla extract and mix until well blended.
  5. *Taste it. Your icing can be more sweet or nutty depending on how much sugar or peanutbutter you add. I prefer a light and sweet flavor so I stuck with 2 cups powdered sugar and a 1/2 cup of peanutbutter. If you want a thicker peanut butter flavor, just add more peanut butter.*
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Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

A step by step guide to creating a frightfully ghoulish Halloween cupcake bouquet centerpiece on the cheap.

I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet

Hey, guys!

It is now my favorite time of year!

Fall? Pumpkin spice? Baking season? Well, yes to that last one but it is always baking season around here. If you haven’t grabbed your copy of my free baking conversion cheatsheet, now is the time to do it. Pretty soon all of those baking feels are going to hit you just before the holidays. Make sure you have the right measurements and can easily convert those favorite recipes.

Free Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet

It is Halloween season!

Yes, that means I am begging my LulaRoe Lady for leggings covered in bats, cats, skellies, and skulls. I am also hunting down all the best Halloween themed decor around town.

I always try to snag awesome Halloween finds on clearance after the holiday is over but I am telling you, those are some slim pickings.

This year I have decided to dress up my table decor with a Halloween Cupcake Bouquet!

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet

In all honesty, I have been seeing these cupcake bouquets everywhere but had not had an appropriate occasion to create one until now. I think it will be a unique way to display the holiday treats and add to the overall creepy ambiance.

If you have seen the cupcake bouquets around town or across the internet, then you may know that small bouquets usually run upwards of fifty-five dollars or more. Crazy, right?

It isn’t crazy. When you purchase from a professional baker, you are purchasing their time and expertise. So often, art and especially food art is undervalued. Many potential customers will complain about pricing and suggest that they can get a cheaper product from a chain store.

Though I understand the plight of the baker I also understand what it is like to be on a budget. One of my greatest thrills is making twenty dollars look like sixty.

How do I do this?

One way to stretch my dollar is that I do a lot of DIY. Of course, there are some limitations to my abilities but I LOVE learning new skills along the way.

The second way I make that twenty dollars look like sixty is by shopping at the Dollar Tree. I can find a variety of products at a low price and love that I am not spending more than a buck.

Almost all of the materials used in this tutorial were purchased at the Dollar Tree.

Materials Needed:

A Halloween Bucket: There are several styles. Choose the one that best fits your party theme.

Three dry floral styrofoam blocks

A large knife

Two bags of colored crinkle cut paper shreds: I used one bag of black and one bag of purple. You can pick whichever colors best match your decor.

Plastic wrap

Colored tissue paper

Scotch tape

One glow in the dark skull head

Toothpicks

Halloween Cupcake Liners

Undecorated cupcakes refrigerated

Halloween Roses

Decorator’s Icing or your icing of choice

Food Dye to color the icing: I used red but again use what best fits your color scheme and decor.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet

How to Put It All Together

The cupcake bouquet is created to make cupcakes look like flowers coming out of a vase. Flowers have the benefit of stems to keep them standing upright. Cupcakes do not.

To keep our cupcakes vertical, we will need to attach them to the styrofoam.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

Step One:

Sizing the Styrofoam

Your bucket size and shape will determine how much of the styrofoam blocks you will need. The mouth of my bucket was quite wide so I need three styrofoam blocks to fill the space.

Place the styrofoam blocks side by side on a flat surface. Flip your bucket over so that the mouth is facing down and place on top of the styrofoam blocks. At this point, you can either draw or etch around the shape of the bucket to create an outline of where we will be cutting.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

Move the bucket out of the way. Using a few toothpicks, connect the styrofoam blocks together. With a large knife, cut around the outline previously drawn. The styrofoam should be circular to match the mouth of the bucket. Troubleshoot to make sure styrofoam snuggly fits into the top of the bucket.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

No one wants to have styrofoam on their cupcakes. Ew! Use the plastic wrap to completely wrap around the styrofoam. After wrapping the styrofoam in plastic wrap, I also wrapped it in colored tissue paper. This gives my bouquet a base color so the ugly green styrofoam is not showing. I used the Scotch tape to adhere the colored tissue paper to the bottom side of the styrofoam.

Step Two:

The Filling of the Bucket

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

If step one was troublesome, this is by far the easiest step of them all. Open the bags of crinkle cut paper and dump them into the bucket. Since I was using two colors I swirled them around a bit to mix the colors.

Place the covered styrofoam in the top of the bucket and push down until snug. You only want about an inch or so sticking out of the top of the bucket.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

I created a decorative center for my bouquet by placing a skull head in the center and securing it in the styrofoam. Make sure to keep the skull a bit taller so it does not get in the way of the cupcakes.

Step Three:

Placing of the Cupcakes

The cupcakes work best when they have been refrigerated so they hold better on the toothpicks. We will start by placing the outer rim of cupcakes first and working our way to the center.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet TutorialHalloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

Place two toothpicks into the bottom of the cupcake about halfway. Using the toothpicks like prongs, stab them in at an angle into the styrofoam. If the toothpicks push through to the top of your cupcake, just push them back in with a gloved finger.

You do not want your cupcake to be perfectly perpendicular to the table because then your icing will want to slide right off. No one wants that! 

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

Leave about an inch or so of space between each cupcake as you place them around the outside.

As filler and to add to our bouquet, I cut off a few sprigs from the Halloween roses and tucked them between each cupcake. The idea is to cover up the colored tissue paper base and to make the bouquet look full and beautiful. I tucked leaves and petals around the cupcakes to make sure they would not get in the way of icing.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

Once the outer row is complete, then you place the inner row. I try to alternate my cupcakes so they look more like a natural bouquet. The inner row is placed similarly to the outer row. Fill in the spaces with sprigs of Halloween roses or leaves.

This is the time to get creative. You can stick leaves and sprigs throughout the bouquet. I love that the Dollar Tree Halloween Roses have little spiders attached. What a cute way to amp up the creepiness of this cute bouquet!

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

Step Four:

Icing the Cupcakes

This is the fun part! Now it is time to make those naked little cupcakes turn into beautiful flowers fit for your ghoulish bouquet.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

To keep things easy, I decided to just do simple rosette flowers and only two colors. Depending on your bouquet and color choices, you can do as many color and flower combinations as you can dream up. I went with a simple white rose and a deep red rose color.

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

I find that using either a Wilton 1M Open Star Piping Tip or a Wilton 2D Decorating Tip creates the best rosettes.

Carefully swirl your icing onto each cupcake keeping the leaves out of your way. Alternate colors so the bouquet looks even and full.

Step 5:

Finishing Touches

To finish off this creep-tastic and yet beautiful Halloween Cupcake Bouquet, I had to add a few drops of blood!

Halloween Cupcake Bouquet Tutorial

I create edible blood with chocolate syrup and raspberry preserves to drip over the white roses. You can read more about this technique and other Halloween ideas in my Halloween Spooktacular Disaster.

Now, you have a display that will both wow and delight all of your guests.

The best part about this edible arrangement? You didn’t have to spend lots of money to achieve such tasty results. Just remember to shop the Dollar Tree Online to get all your party decor and more.

Let Me Know

As we prepare for Halloween, I want to know how you decorate. Will you be making one of these Halloween Cupcake Bouquets? Will you be throwing a party or taking the kiddos trick-or-treating? Let me know in the comments below!

Today, we are making life taste sweeter with the Dollar Tree.

 

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes

These Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes are made with organic coconut flour. The chocolate cupcake is rich and soft while the edible cookie dough topping is creamy and delicious.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Outward Baking

There is one thing about baking that I just can’t dispute. Baking tastes best when you are feeding another person. There is some magic that mixes into the batter when you are focused on pleasing that special someone.

After mastering the tastebuds of my own home, I spent this Summer reaching out to others to try and please their taste buds as well. Whether I was grabbing inspiration from their direct quotes (Vera’s Peach Spice Cupcake with Kiwi Sparkler Icing), their passionate causes (Free the Nipple Black Forest Cupcakes), or their loving mom (Baby Z’s Perfectly Pear Cupcakes and Wonder Woman Egg Free Red Velvet Cupcakes), I enjoyed every minute of the journey creating their custom cupcake creations.

If you are interested in having a custom cupcake recipe created for you or someone you love, send me an email and we can work out the details. I would love to hear from you!

Baking Season

As Autumn fast approaches, baking season is fully underway. To stay ahead of the game, you will want to grab my Free Baking Conversion Cheatsheet to hang in your cabinet or up on the frig. Convert measurements and adjust your favorite recipes in minutes so you aren’t getting schmutz on your phone or tablet mid-recipe. An extra bonus is that you will also have exclusive access to my Sweet Resource Library that is constantly growing.

Free Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet

To finish the Summer strong, I wanted to feature another custom cupcake recipe. Just like Beauty Bae’s Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes, this one was for another young woman from the United Kingdom.

If I keep making these international connections, I am definitely going to be needing a food scale so I can provide the recipes in grams and milliliters instead of cups and teaspoons. Utilizing the Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet as well as the Basic Ingredient Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet (both located in the Sweet Resource Library), all of my recipes can be converted, however, results may vary slightly.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes

As Seen On Jean

This week I was baking for Jean of As Seen On Jean. She is a teacher who decided to write a blog and I am so glad she did. Her posts provide tips, reviews and real-life advice about all sorts of products and services.  I am especially in love with her Monthly Favorites section where Jean tells you her favorite products of the month and usually includes ways to win some of those items too. How cool is that?

I have a special soft spot for teachers since my mother is a lifelong teacher herself. I was excited to get to work on Jean’s cupcake so she can enjoy it as her students begin to return to school.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Gluten-Free Recipe Development

Her requirements seemed simple. She wanted a gluten-free chocolate cupcake.

Guess who had to make it complicated? If your first and only guess is me then you’d be correct!

Though I enjoy exploring recipes outside of my comfort zone like the Bold and Free Vegan Avocado Chocolate Cupcakes, they do take a bit more research and development. I had never made an intentionally gluten-free recipe before, let alone created a recipe for one.

What’s  Gluten?

There are many reasons that people choose to remove gluten from their diet. For more information regarding gluten and the health effects of consuming gluten, I found this article very informative. 

Gluten is a group of proteins that are found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley. When baking cupcakes, the gluten component would be in the all-purpose flour that is traditionally used. The trick here is to find an alternative that performs like flour but does not have gluten.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes

All in the Coconut

Gluten-free flour alternatives are fairly easy to obtain, which was a pleasant surprise. I chose to explore an Organic Coconut Flour because I have worked with coconut oil and coconut spread before and have enjoyed those results.

I will warn that these alternative flours sometimes require additional tweaks to your favorite recipes because they are not a one for one substitution for all-purpose flour. In the case of coconut flour, I reduced the amount of flour used overall and I needed to add additional liquid to make the consistency of the cupcake more desirable.

Maybe it is common sense but it definitely did not occur to me until after the taste test. Coconut flour will make the recipe taste like coconut. I know, novel concept, right?

Well, the original idea was to have a somewhat traditional chocolate cupcake (even if gluten-free) and then top it with an edible chocolate chip cookie dough. I mean, all cookie dough is edible but we feel better if it doesn’t have raw eggs included.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Almond Joy Love

After creating this delectable Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcake combo, I took one bite and my only thought was, “Wow this tastes like an Almond Joy!”

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love a delicious chocolate coconut treat like an Almond Joy any day. This just wasn’t quite my intended outcome with the Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes. Had I realized sooner, I would have probably played up the Almond Joy aspect and decorated the tops with a chocolate covered almond or something similar.  It is certainly something to consider when you make this recipe at home.

Favorites

Captain Cupcakeasaurus is sometimes reluctant to try alternative diet recipes. Both he and Little Cakeasurus Rex LOVED these cupcakes. In so many ways, you can’t really go wrong with chocolate.

Due to the heavy coconut flavor, I would not recommend this recipe as an alternative to traditional chocolate cupcakes. However, they certainly hold their own as a tasty chocolate coconut treat.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes

I hope Jean enjoys the coconut flavor as much as my family did. You can check out her favorites for the month and enjoy one of the Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes for yourself.

Don’t forget to let Jean know how much you love her custom cupcake flavor at As Seen on Jean. As always, please share your results with me too. You can tag @mscupcakeasaurus on Instagram.

Today we made life taste sweeter gluten-free style.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Print Recipe
These Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes are made with organic coconut flour. The chocolate cupcake is rich and soft while the edible cookie dough topping is creamy and delicious.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Print Recipe
These Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes are made with organic coconut flour. The chocolate cupcake is rich and soft while the edible cookie dough topping is creamy and delicious.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Ingredients
Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit In a large bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat eggs and sugar on medium-high speed.
  2. In a small microwaveable bowl, place about a half a cup of semi sweet chocolate morsels. Microwave on high heat for ten seconds. Stir. Microwave for an additional 5-10 seconds until chocolate is melted and smooth. A half cup of semi chocolate morsels will be more than one Tablespoon melted, the remainder will be used for the Cookie Dough topping.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, cocoa powder and salt.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the egg mixture a little at a time and mixing thoroughly between each addition.
  5. Add coconut oil, brewed coffee, and melted semi sweet chocolate morsels. Mix on medium speed until well blended.
  6. Fill lined cupcake tin 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on baking rack before adding topping.
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Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes

These Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes are made of soft vanilla vegan white cake packed full of colorful sprinkles and topped with a vegan vanilla “buttercream” icing.

Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes

In the News

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed this past week was a bit chaotic for me. Florida became the target of a nasty hurricane named Irma.

I was all set to share with you these cute little Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes when I had to start evacuation planning for me and my family. This was definitely not how I planned to spend my week.

At first, we weighed our options of evacuating to North Carolina or just waiting out the storm. Even though hurricanes give you time to prepare, they also have the ability to quickly change course.

Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes

A Hard Decision

Each day that passed leading up to the hurricane left fewer and fewer resources behind. Stores were out of water, bread, batteries, plywood, almost everything. Gas stations were out of gas. Hotels were booked solid north of Tampa and on into Georgia and South Carolina.

Hurricane house

We made the hard decision to stay because I would rather be near home with the supplies I knew we already had than stranded with no gas and nowhere to go three hundred miles from home. This is not an easy choice to make for anyone. My only advice is that you do what you feel is right for you and your family to keep them safe.

My son and I, stayed with friends that live farther inland during the hurricane because our home is located in a flood zone and flooding looked to be likely. We evacuated but we did not evacuate far from home. I am so grateful to our friends for taking us in and making us feel so comfortable and welcome in their home. I will never be able to repay them for their kindness.

In the two years I have lived here, I had not yet had to deal with a hurricane scare. This was definitely a lesson to be learned and a memory I will never forget. However, I believe I passed a Floridian milestone and learned exactly how I react to stress.

Stress Baking

Is it any surprise that I stress bake? As Captain Cupcakeasaurus and I were making evacuation decisions, I got to work baking. I couldn’t control myself. My anxiety was through the roof and all I could think to do was to focus on the food.

Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes

I baked a lasagna, two chicken broccoli casseroles, a flat of brownies, a chocolate poke sheet cake and thirty chicken burritos.

That was just the first day.

The next day I made homemade mustard basted chicken legs, sausage and date Brussel sprouts, cauliflower mash and two batches of chocolate cake box cookies.

I was frenzy baking y’all!

Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes

I was frenzy baking y'all! Click To Tweet

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First Responders

Thankfully, all of the food was put to a good use and sent off to the Fire Station for those hard working firefighters. Captain Cupcakeasaurus went into work with the instructions that he would be working for a minimum of seventy-two hours. Not only were we weathering a hurricane, but we were weathering it apart.

Fire Station

Our community came together to look after each other. I have to praise all of our first responders, police and even the linemen (Is linepeople the gender neutral term for that?) that were working during and immediately after the storm to help those in need and get everyone back in their homes and their power back on.

I am very thankful that the storm died down significantly by the time it crossed our home so damage was minimal. We only had two trees down in the yard and no flooding. Things could have been SO MUCH worse.

Hurricane Trees

Back to the Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes

Originally, I was creating this custom cupcake flavor for an artist friend who also happens to be Vegan. I wanted to create a colorful and fun cupcake reminiscent of her artwork and photography.

Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes

Once the news of the upcoming storm hit, these cuties were specifically made to brighten my day. After seeing the colorful swirls of Hurricane Irma across the weather map, I felt like colorful sprinkles might be a fun way to bring back a little cheer.

Something about those rainbow colored sprinkles always puts a smile on my face.You can purchase your own bag of colorful Vegan Funfetti here.

Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes

Confessions

In all honesty, this was not my first batch of Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes. But as you know, I refuse to share with you a recipe that is not rightly approved by my kitchen first.

The first time, I made these cupcakes, they were a disaster. I had filled my cupcake tins three-quarters full as I often do. The cupcakes rose so much they expanded over the top of my tins and created sugar cookie like discs over the top of my cupcakes!

Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes

I tweaked the recipe to better balance the wet and dry ingredients to hopefully reduce so much expansion and I made sure not to overfill my cupcake tins. There you go. My error is your reward. Just make sure to only put a Tablespoon of batter in each cupcake tin and you will have beautiful level cupcakes.

Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes

 

I Want To Know

After this experience with Irma, I have a greater empathy for those who have been at the mercy of Mother Nature. Have you ever experienced a natural disaster in your area? How did it affect you or change your perspective? Do you have any tips or tricks to prepare for such a disaster?

I want to know about you. Comment down below or you are always welcome to send me a personal email if you’d prefer.

Sharing our experiences and coming together is how we make life taste sweeter.

 

Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes
Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Soft vanilla vegan white cake packed full of colorful sprinkles and topped with a vegan vanilla "buttercream" icing.
Servings Prep Time
18 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
18 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes
Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Soft vanilla vegan white cake packed full of colorful sprinkles and topped with a vegan vanilla "buttercream" icing.
Servings Prep Time
18 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
18 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Ingredients
Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes
Vegan Vanilla "Buttercream" Icing
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place liners in a cupcake tin.
  2. Add apple cider vinegar to the cup of almond milk, stir and set to the side.
  3. In a large bowl, use electgric mixer on medium high speed to cream coconut spread and sugar.
  4. In a separate bowl combine and whisk dry ingredients of flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add a third of the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture and mix thoroughly.
  6. Add half of the almond milk to the sugar mixture and mix thoroughly.
  7. Alternate additions of almond milk and dry ingredients, mixing thoroughly between each addition. Finish with the last third of the flour mixture.
  8. Add vanilla and mix with a spatula.
  9. With spatula, fold in the rainbow sprinkles.
  10. Place a Tablespoon of batter in each lined cupcake tin. The batter rises significantly and any more than a Tablespoon will result in overflow during baking.
  11. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. A toothpick inserted will come out clean when done.
Vegan Vanilla "Buttercream" Icing
  1. In a large bowl using the whisk attachment of an electric mixer, beat coconut spread until smooth.
  2. Add in sifted powdered sugar a little at a time, mixing thoroughly between each addition.
  3. Add in vanilla extract and mix until well blended.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to use or if a firmer consitency is desired.
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Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

Triple Chocolate cupcakes including a rich moist chocolate cake filled with a semisweet chocolate filling and topped with a fluffy salted chocolate buttercream.

 Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

Getting Started

When I was a single working mom, do you know what my favorite store was? I’ll give you a hint; it wasn’t Target.

My favorite store was Lowe’s. Yes, the home improvement store.

After working long hours and having minimal expendable income, I took great pride in improving my home one Do It Yourself project at a time.

I could always count on the friendly and knowledgeable faces at Lowe’s to clue me in on if a job was outside my capabilities or not.

In the short four years I lived in that North Carolina home, I managed to paint every room, change out all the door hardware, replace the innards of a running toilet, install closet shelving in all of the closets, and hang my own flat screen.

Those are just some of the many projects I took on during my stay.  I was visiting Lowe’s almost every week.

 Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

I suppose I could say, “I have a husband for that now,” but then what kind of feminist would I be?

Captain Cupcakeasaurus knows my Lowe’s obsession and shares in it. I may not be at the home improvement store each week anymore, but someone from our family is there.

Doing the Maintenance

After sixteen years of living in his bachelor pad house, the home improvement bug has finally bitten him too. Ok, that bug very well may have been me!

What is the project this week? Well, in true cakeasaurus fashion, we don’t just do one project at a time. That might just be practical!

 Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

While I’ve been tackling the baking and sharing, Captain Cupcakeasaurus has been diligently working away at painting the trim of our living room.

We painted the walls in July before we had family visit and are just now getting around to the trim. Ugh!

Simultaneously, we are also scraping off really old paint from our beadboard kitchen. If you are thinking,”Wait! Don’t you bake in that kitchen?!” The answer is YES!

Obviously, we aren’t paint-scraping WHILE I am baking. But, it is a huge eyesore until we can get it all scraped and ready for a fresh new color.

If you happen to be scraping paint yourself this weekend, I can not say enough about this handy little tool. The Big Blade Scraper slides a thin blade under the edge of the paint and then peels it right on off. It is also way less noisy than power tool options.

Secret DIY guilty pleasure: I actually love scraping the paint. It is so satisfying to take that scraper and shave off a good long piece of paint. I liken the feeling to peeling an apple in one long continuous ribbon or something like that.

So, while Captain Cupcakeasaurus is doing the manual labor in the living room, I decided to create a treat to reward his efforts.

 Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

Do It Yourself

A fellow blogger, Ali Jaffri, is a contributor for DIYsomo.com. The site is a one stop shop for almost all of your Do It Yourself project tutorials. Whether you are scraping paint or working on a car, the site has helpful “how to” articles for all sorts of projects.

Speaking with Ali about his site, we inevitably started talking about his favorite cupcake flavors. This, honestly, is how all of my conversations turn. Is it any wonder that I write about cake for a living?

Well, his favorite is also the favorite of millions of people and I had to create a cupcake that would provide the perfect treat after a long week of labor. Monday is Labor Day after all!

Triple Chocolate

Maybe after trying Beauty Bae’s Blueberry Blue Velvet cupcakes, you realize I have a tendency to take a concept and totally overdo it. Today is no exception.

Chocolate is always a favorite around this house and when I heard Ali’s favorite is chocolate as well that gave me further license to chocolate this cupcake up.

Start With A Base

The only time that moist is a positive adjective is when you are talking about cake. This moist rich chocolate base is very similar to the one used in the Kahlua Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes. I traded Kahlua for a salted caramel brewed coffee.

The cake is dark and dense enough to cut a hole in. You know what that means? That’s right! It is begging for a filling!

Chocolate Filling

The chocolate filling is very similar to a ganache but prepared slightly different. The coconut milk makes the chocolate a smooth shiny consistency; perfect for cupcake filling and drizzling.

 Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

The best chocolate filling is made with the best chocolate. There really is no comparison. Ghirardelli chocolate morsels melt in your mouth and make the whole house smell like chocolate.

Take advantage of twenty percent off of your Ghiradelli chocolate purchase this Labor Day weekend. Labor Day Sale: 20% off Site-wide at Ghirardelli.com.

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The recipe makes a bit more than you will probably need but you can always freeze it and use it again later for more cupcakes or to elevate your favorite hot chocolate.

After filling your cupcakes, save some of the filling for your buttercream; you’re going to need it.

Chocolate Buttercream

I am screaming! This is THE BEST chocolate buttercream I’ve ever made.

What the buttercream is not:

It is not overly chocolatey. We have enough chocolate going on. However, if you feel it just isn’t quite chocolate enough for your tastes, just add some more of the filling to the buttercream.

What the buttercream is:

It is so light, so decadent, just a little salty and makes you want more.

You know when you eat a chocolate on chocolate cake and about half way through the slice your belly starts to grumble and your teeth start to ache? That is precisely what this buttercream icing prevents. You get all the chocolate loving flavor but none of the regret.

Where Do They Go

I often get asked about where my cupcakes end up. Baking every week, there is no way my little family of three could possibly be putting away all those cupcakes. You’re right, we’re not!

I am typically sending them off to the fire station for Captain Cupcakeasaurus and his fellow firefighters to enjoy. Often friends and neighbors will get a few goodies too.

This week, this batch was so delicious they didn’t survive long enough to make their way to a different home. A few snuck off to a friend’s house but the majority were consumed right here in our paint scraped kitchen.

 Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

DIY Rewards

Over the holiday weekend, make sure you take a moment to relax from all your home improvement projects and reward yourself with these Triple Chocolate Cupcakes.

If you aren’t sure what project you want to tackle next, or you aren’t sure how to get started check out DIYsomo for inspiration. Let Ali know what you think of the chocolate deliciousness he inspired.

Fill Me In

What DIY projects are you currently working on? Do you have projects you want to tackle but have been putting off? How do you plan to reward yourself for all your hard work?

Triple Chocolate Cupcakes
Triple Chocolate Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Triple Chocolate cupcakes including a rich moist chocolate cake filled with a semisweet chocolate filling and topped with a fluffy salted chocolate buttercream.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Triple Chocolate Cupcakes
Triple Chocolate Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Triple Chocolate cupcakes including a rich moist chocolate cake filled with a semisweet chocolate filling and topped with a fluffy salted chocolate buttercream.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Ingredients
Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes
Chocolate Filling
Salted Chocolate Buttercream
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sugar and eggs on low speed.
  2. Add the vegetable oil to the egg and sugar mixture and mix thoroughly.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Alternating between the dry ingredients and the buttermilk, add about a third at a time to the egg mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
  5. Add in the coffee and mix on low speed until well blended.
  6. Fold in vanilla extract with a spatula.
  7. Fill lined baking cups 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes. A toothpick inserted may not come out completely clean. Crumbles are ok, wet cake batter is not.
  8. Refrigerate cupcakes for about 30 minutes or until they are cool to the touch.
  9. Using a cupcake corer or a small spoon, scoop out about a half inch hole int eh middle of the cupcakes.
Chocolate Filling
  1. In a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter until smooth and shiny.
  2. Slowly add in coconut milk, stiring constantly until well blended.
  3. Set chocolate off heat to cool. Do not refrigerate.
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