Browsing the archives for the cupcakes tag.

Minion Cupcakes

Domestic, Kids

How sweet are these little guys?! I made them once for a fundraiser for our dance company in the spring and then this summer, two of the songs our girls danced to were from Despicable Me 2 so I had to make them again. When I posted these on Instagram the first time, one of my besties texted me to ask if I had extra twinkies left. Haha, little did she know I had already set them aside for her. Duh. Bestie love! Natch, the second time she knew I had already hid hers from the children.

They are so simple to make but I keep getting asked how I did it, so here you do. One of the most simple tutorials ever. 😉

Minion Cupcakes

24 cupcakes
12 Twinkies (or just half as many Twinkies as cupcakes)
Smarties candies (in Canada these candies are called Rockets)
Chocolate icing (make it slightly thicker than you would to ice a cake)

Minion Cupcakes Minion Cupcakes Minion Cupcakes

First upwrap (duh) and cut all the Twinkies in half, as evenly as possible. If they’re not even, you’ll end up with some mini Minions! This is when I arrange them assembly line style and give them their little personalities! I have found the easiest method is to use a little icing as glue to stick the Smarties on for the eyes, and then draw the arms of the glasses on with the same icing. Then I used a toothpick to scoop just the absolute teeniest amount of icing and make their pupils, then they need smiles ooooof course.

Minion Cupcakes Minion Cupcakes
Minion Cupcakes Minion Cupcakes

This part is pretty simple, just be careful while you do it! Once you have frosted the cupcakes with plain buttercream (or whatever you feel like using), poke a toothpick into each cupcake. Now, very carefully, pick up each Minion and impale him onto the toothpick. 😉 This is when you bust out your kitchen tweezers and use chocolate sprinkles for tiny little tufts of hair. Not all Minions have hair, so you can leave some bald if you’d like. Be prepared for cuteness overload, these guys are adorable and always a hit.

Minion Cupcakes
No Comments

Pineapple Cream Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


I’ve been keeping track of the cakes (and yes, I’m counting cupcakes as cakes) I’ve made this year though I have been woefully neglectful about posting them. Here’s the recap so far:

#1 – Nutella Icebox Cake (week 1)
#2 – Orange Creamsicle Cake (week 2)
#3 – White Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes (week 3)
#4 – Pink Lemonade Cupcakes (week 4)
#5 – Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (week 5)
#6 – Dark Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Filling (week 6)
#7 – Pink Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Frosting (week 7)
#8 – Dutch Buttercake (week 8 )
#9 – Birthday Cake Pancakes (week 9)
#10 – Chocolate Espresso Pecan Pie IN a Cocoa Cake (I know, I know, I cannot be stopped!) (week 10)
#11 – Chocolate Caramel Cake (week 11)
#12 – Mini Minion Vanilla Cupcakes (week 12)
#13 – Double Chocolate Nutella Rocher Cupcakes (week 12)
#14 – Rainbow Chocolate Cupcakes with Blue Raspberry Frosting (week 12)
#15 – Pineapple Cream Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (week 12)

Just like with Pie Year, there are going to be weeks with multiples, but that’s all part of the fun!

All the cupcakes I made last weekend were super fun, but the Pineapple Cream were the most sophisticated, as our Tiny Dancer would say. I love when there are fruit chunks in cake and most of the time, I love to pair citrus with a cream cheese frosting, which made this recipe so perfect!

Pineapple Cream Cupakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
(via Your Cup of Cake)       
1 box yellow cake mix
1/3 cup melted (and cooled) butter
   I mashed up pineapple chunks for larger pieces
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup crushed pineapple with juice
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-4 cups confectioner’s sugar
   adjust to desired taste and consistency

Preheat to 350 and line your muffin tin with liners. Sift the cake mix into a medium bowl and set aside. In a larger bowl, whisk together the melted butter, eggs, pineapple and vanilla. Slowly stir in the cake mix until it’s well combined.

I used my large ice cream scoop (though let’s be honest, all three are only ever used as cake batter scoops) and that filled each liner about 3/4 of the way. Bake for 20 minutes (give or take) and let cool before you frost.

While they’re cooling, get cracking on the frosting. Straight up cream cheese frosting. Just beat the cream cheese with the butter until it’s smooth and add the vanilla. Then slowly add the confectioner’s sugar until it’s stiff enough to hold it’s shape.

Pipe it over your cooled cupcakes. Top with cherries and sanding sugar and voila! Beautiful, tropical cupcakes!

Dry off your Maraschino cherries (or take a page from my book and employ one of your helpers to do it). Otherwise, they will bleed all over your beautiful frosting.

1 Comment

Celebrating 22 Sleeps with Halloween Rainbow Cupcakes


Rainbow cupcakes are so fun to do and you can make them fit any occasion. The first time I made them I used primary colors for Wee One #3’s kindergarten classmates. This time around, I used black, purple and orange. Since black mixed with white or an off white is usually gray and not actually black, we used chocolate cake for that part and vanilla cake for the purple and orange. It worked perfectly!

If you have your own favorite vanilla and chocolate recipe feel free to use those. It really doesn’t matter. I’m pretty partial to these though, and I’ve been using them both for a long time. If you are going to use cake mixes, please don’t tell me about it. 😉

I used my stir and bake chocolate cake for the black portions and the vanilla cake recipe from The Red Hen.

Whip up your cake batters, whichever ones you choose. Then add black food coloring to the chocolate batter, and divide the vanilla batter in two. Add purple to one and orange to the other. Then layer the colors however you like, I went with black, orange and purple. Following the baking time and temp for your recipe. Once they’re cool, melt some candy melts or tint some white chocolate to drizzle over top!

No Comments

Strawberry Cupcakes


There was a whole lotta Valentiney love in the kitchen going on around here over the last 2 weeks or so. I made cookies, I made cupcakes, I made gummy hearts, I made heart shaped bacon – and even heart shaped hot dogs. Yes, I know that’s insane, thank you. I was having so much fun Valentining it up with my husband and our littles, I didn’t stop long enough to post about it much! That’s ok, you know I’ll catch up with that eventually.

This post isn’t even a recipe, but man these were good.

These extremely sweet (and also extremely yummy) cupcakes were made from a box, which I know is 100% not me but I’m learning to bend a bit. I made them with strawberry cake mix but I added more strawberry flavor with about 1/4 of a 3oz package of strawberry jello. Yes, jello.

Then I made a totally standard batch of buttercream (butter, icing sugar, milk, vanilla), but I added both bright pink food coloring (thanks Wilton) and the rest of the 3/4 of the 3oz package of strawberry jello. I used my extra long icing tip to fill some of the cupcakes with the strawberry-spiked buttercream and then I used two other tips for the tops, the star and rigged swirl are the same tip.

Good thing I had people around to share these with or I may have eaten way more than my fair share!!
Strawberry Cupcakes

Strawberry Cupcakes
Strawberry Cupcakes
Strawberry Cupcakes
Strawberry Cupcakes
Strawberry Cupcakes
Strawberry Cupcakes
1 Comment

Snickerdoodle Cookies and Cupcakes

Domestic, Kids

I’m backtracking a little here, because while I do have a stash of mini snickerdoodle cupcakes in the freezer for Christmas, I made this for my sister’s birthday party two weeks ago.

I first read about snickerdoodle cookies in Great Cookies: Secrets to Sensational Sweets in 2003 when I picked up the book (amazing book, by the way – full of fun cookies) and I knew I had to try them based on the name! They’re essentially a cinnamon sugar cookie, then rolled in cinnamon and sugar before they’re baked. We all liked them and made themfrom time time to time. Then in 2008, one of my kids discovered A Barbie Christmas Carol, and the main Barbie’s favorite cookies are snickerdoodles! Since then, it’s become a household staple and Martha’s snickerdoodles, are hands down the best.

Martha Stewart’s Snickerdoodles – from Martha Stewart Holiday Magazine 2005, Cookies Special Issue

2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
8 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup shortening (I used more butter)
1 3/4 cups sugar + more
2 tbsp cinnamon + more
2 large eggs


Sift your flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl with your mixer, cream together the butter, shortening and 1 1/2 cups of the sugar. Beat for about 2 minutes, until fluffy. Scrap down the sides of the bowl and mix in your eggs, one at a time. Then slowly add your flour mixture and beat until it’s totally mixed in. I also add about 1 tsp of cinnamon to my dough.


Mix the leftover 1/4 cup of sugar and the 2 tbsp of cinnamon in a small bowl. Use a tablespoon to scoop out regular sized cookies or a teaspoon for mini cookies. Shape them into little balls with (slightly) wet hands and then drop them in the cinnamon sugar. Roll them around so they’re covered and then put them on your parchment paper lined cookie sheet and flatten them with a glass. It helps a little of the glass is dipped in the cinnamon sugar as well.


Bake for 10 minutes at 400. Martha recommends rotating your baking sheets after 10 minutes, but I have found that it really doesn’t change anything. These cookies crack on top, but they do not brown – so don’t wait for them to or they’ll burn.

These cookies are alarmingly good for dunking in either coffee, milk, soy milk or, my biggest weakness, vanilla chai smoothies.

I’ve been trying to keep my posts down to just one recipe at a time to make things easier to find later, but this second recipe really goes with the first! I first saw on Bakerella the teaming of snickerdoodle cookies with snickerdoodle cupcakes. For Valentine’s Day 2009, I made heart shaped cocoa brownies and stacked them on top of chocolate cupcakes with a layer of buttercream, which decedent as it is made perfect sense to me. So the idea of stacking cookies on cupcakes with layers of buttercream is totally logical.

For consistency’s sake, I used Martha Stewart’s snickerdoodle cupcakes.

Martha Stewart’s Snickerdoodle Cupcakes – from Martha Stewart Online

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp cinnamon + 1/2 tsp for dusting
1 cup butter, room temp
1 3/4 cups sugar + 2 tbsp for dusting
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups milk


First, sift together both flours, baking powder, salt and 1 tbsp cinnamon. In another bowl, with your mixer, cream butter and sugar until they’re ‘pale and fluffy’. Then add the eggs one at a time, and beat in the vanilla. Don’t forget to scrape down the sides of your bowl.


Alternate between adding the milk and the flour mixture until it’s all combined. Now pour the batter into lined muffin cups, about 3/4 full. Bake for about 15-20 minutes at 350.

Now, if you need to (I needed to and then we ate them all), whip up a batch of buttercream, pipe a bit on your cupcake, top with a cookie and then top that with another bit of buttercream.

Divine. Snap photos while you can – this pile of treats wont last long!!



Crafty, Domestic

The past few months have been a flurry of activity, and while I wouldn’t have it any other way, a few more hours in the day would be helpful.

I made a really interesting cake this past weekend for a friend’s 30th and I have had a good start to Cake Year! First though, and mostly just to show off some photos, here are a few of the things I didn’t blog about this holiday season.

I made heaps and heaps of brownies during the holidays, as I’m sure you can imagine. These made in the donut pan seemed especially fun for the kids for some reason, and this apple pie with a handful of chocolate chips was just silly – and delicious!

This year, Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day landed on the same day, so we had a fete to celebrate both! There were a whole lot of glittery New Year decorations and a whole lot of shiny heart decorations. The kids had a party that afternoon, and one of their activities was cookie decorating. I made standard Sugar Cookies and Cocoa Brownies and set out frosting, sprinkles, candies and broken up treats in recycled pudding cups for easy access!

For their school parties, the kids hit Google to find ideas for their class treats. Wee one #1 went with Chocolate Covered Jumbo Marshmallows. We put some red sprinkles on while the chocolate was still wet. Wee one #2 picked Cinnamon Heart Kisses and Hugs Cupcakes, which I think explains itself really. Both treats were really fun to make and the kids classes loved them. Before anyone thinks I’ve left someone out, wee one #3 isn’t in school yet and is too small for treats. 😉

There are some really fun gems left out, like attempting a Jamie Oliver appetizer, and my cinnamon hippo cookies, but these were the most fun of the last few months. I can’t recap too much because I want to jump back in and show you the 10 cakes I’ve made so far this year!

The husband machine, our three wee ones and myself did some Christmas road tripping. It took us to three different cities in two weeks and we had a blast. On the way home, with our little car packed to the roof with kids, gifts and gear, I got a text from my amazing friend Gill, asking if we could do the first Stitch n Bitch of the year that night, and that she really, really wanted to make Red Velvet cake with me. I pretty much never turn down an evening with my ladies, so as soon as we got home, I prepped the kitchen for fun, fed the kids and within minutes Gill was here with her beau Andrew, and my sister, Nikki. Usually there are two more good friends that spend Saturday nights with us, but one was out of town and one was hanging with someone who is usually out of town.

So, the Red Velvet cake, as you can see, looked like a winter birthday cake! The cream cheese frosting wasn’t too cream cheesy, as they often are, and the chopped pecans were a really nice touch! None of us had ever made this cake before, and we were all a little alarmed at how much food colouring it takes to give it that red hue! It was amazing, definitely one of my faves so far, The look of the two red layers with the contrast of the white frosting was so pretty.

Inspiration for the second cake of the year came while browsing Chow. The photo of the cake was amazing, but they put a crunchy almond crust on the top of the cake (prepared in the pan before the batter was poured in), and I opted for a few ground up chocolate chips on top after I had already iced it. I used the recipe as is otherwise, and it turned out so good.

This Double Lemon Cake was made because the husband machine asked me to make him a Lemon Meringue pie, and I had a little lemon filling leftover. The cake itself is a standard lemon cake, really you can just sub some lemon juice for a liquid in your favourite vanilla cake and add in some lemon zest as well. It’s two layers, with the lemon filling from the pie I made earlier and buttercream tinted yellow. 😉 If you love lemon, you’d love this.

The fourth cake was made for Miss Talea’s financee, who she never refers to by name on her blog, so I’ll hold back. I made him a Brown Sugar cake, though he is away at med school and couldn’t enjoy it himself. This recipe was found on Bell’alimento, and yes, I covered mine in whipped cream too. I made two square layers, one smaller than the other and sprinkled cinnamon on top!

Cakes #5 and #6 were made on the same day – because we had a few more people than usual that week – to celebrate Miss America. We all just love how campy and silly it is, and we really rolled with it. We all wore tiaras and drank champagne (ok, sparkling wine) and had a lovely evening. Cake #5 was a Chocolate Coconut (which just means I added a little sweetened shredded coconut to the batter and sprinkled some on top once it was cooled). Cake #6 was exciting for me, as I had never made one before – a Black Forest cake! My mother used to make these a lot when I was a kid, my father loves them. This was a cake doctor-style recipe, to be honest. All I did was mix up a devil’s food cake mix with a few eggs, some water and an entire can of cherry pie filling. Once it was baked and cooled, I put a little dollop of whipped cream on each of the wee flutes in the cake and put a maraschino cherry on top.

It’s hard to believe how genuinely excited I am over each of these cakes! Cake #7 was especially important because one of my closest friends, someone who has been coming out to my knitting nights for years, moved. Yup, Talea joined her fiancee somewhere that isn’t Toronto so they can live together as he finishes up med school. To celebrate all the joy and friendship and wine fueled nights we’ve all spent together, I made her a 10 Layer Smell You Later cake (inspired by the always amazing Bakerella) and invited only her very favourite people. It was a lovely night, but so so sad too. Moving on, the cake would have been more layers, but my husband machine was snacky and I had baked all the layers the night before. 😛 I assembled it with runny fudge as the glue that held it all together between all the layers. I coated the outside in it as well, but had to do as Bakerella suggested and make up some cocoa frosting and give it another layer.

Two weeks ago, as you know, was both Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day. Last year, I made a Mandarin cake because I thought that the traditional citrus fruit had to be made into something, but it doesn’t. Just leaving out a bowl of any kind of citrus fruit is enough! So I didn’t make a cake for Chinese New Year, but I made up a serious Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake for Valentine’s Day. It was plain chocolate, in a heart shape, topped with a pint of strawberries and loads of both whipped cream and cocoa frosting. Amazing.

Even more amazing than that cake, Gill’s brother was on his way back from Thailand that day and even though he woke up on the other side of the planet and had a serious 12 hour jet lag to deal with, he came over to celebrate with us! Since he had been away for his birthday, I also whipped up a belated birthday cake – the one he picked weeks before – Chocolate and Peanut Butter!

And finally, to be totally up to date, this past weekend, I made my weirdest cake yet – by request. I made Tres Leches (or 3 milk cake, if you prefer). It’s Spanish and while most of their cakes are really moist, this one is over the top. It was for Andrew’s 30th birthday, the first of us 1980 babies to turn 30 this year. He requested it partly because he has a thing for moist cakes and this one promised to be the moistest, and partly because any time I ever serve this man cake, he always puts it in a bowl or mug and pours milk over it. Always.

This cake starts out as a plain vanilla cake, though I’m sure you could sub in whatever kind of plain cake you’d like. Once your cake has baked and cooled (mostly), move it to a larger pan then poke holes all over the top of it and pour this mixture over it; 1 can evaporated milk, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 cup whipping cream, 1/2 cup whole milk. You have to keep scooping up the mixture and pouring it over the cake for it to absorb it all. It’s nuts to see a cake soak up 3 cups of liquid in a few minutes.

You’ll notice there are actually four kinds of milk in this ‘three milk cake’. I actually looked into it more and traditionally the recipe has no whole milk in it, just whipping cream. The best part about this is two of us are lactose intolerant. Ha! I had a very small piece and then later in the night, I had another small piece. Andrew had several, so glad the birthday boy liked it. 😛

To go with the random theme of three, I also made three squash soup. Gill made her amazing pizza pinwheel bites and we all forgot about the soup. I will ask her about the recipe to post it one day.

Way more playing in the kitchen than knitting and sewing lately, as I’m sure you can tell, but I did manage to finish a very nice pair of socks, Marriage Lines, they were a late Christmas present to one of my dearest friends, Talea.

There’s your recap, stay tuned for Window Shopping Wednesday tomorrow!


Cakes of 2010


45. December 16 – Candy Cane Cake

44. November 27 – Blueberry-Filled Chocolate Cake

42. November 27 – Raspberry-Filled Vanilla Cake

41. November 25 – Stargate Cake

40. November 13 – Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

39. October 28 – Halloween Cake Pops – Witch

39. October 28 – Halloween Cake Pops – Spider

39. October 28 – Halloween Cake Pops – Mummie

39. October 28 – Halloween Cake Pops – Monster

38. October 28 – Candy Corn Cupcakes

37. October 22 – Vanilla Cupcake Buns with Brownie Burgers and Sugar Cookie Fries

36. October 15 – Double Chocolate Candy Coated Cupcake Pops

35. October 15 – Chocolate Elegance Cake

34. October 9 – Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Mini Loaves

33. October 9 – Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

32. September 19 – Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

31. August 13 – Marble Soccer Cake

30. July 30 – Swiss Swirl Chocolate Ice Cream Cake

29. July 19 – Love Cakes

28. July 9 – Apple Crisp

27. July 2 – Ontario Apple Cranberry Crumble

26. June 19 – Key Lime Cake

25. June 5 – Chocolate Snowball Cake

24. May 30 – Mini Blueberry Cheesecakes

23. May 8 – Almond Meringue Cakes

22. April 24 – Chocolate Banana Cake

21. April 10 – Chocolate Minis with Peanut Butter Frosting

20. April 7 – Cocoa Cupcakes with Coconut Icing

19. April 1 – Cadbury Cream Egg Cupcakes

18. March 27 – Chocolate Butterscoch Cake

17. March 21 – Butterscotch Ganache Cake

16. March 17 – Guiness Chocolate Cake with Bailey’s Cream Cheese Frosting

15. March 12 – Mini Super Apple Cakes

14. March 7 – ‘Very Special’ Vanilla Cake

13. March 5 – Classic Tiramisu

12. February 26 – Blueberry Friands

11. February 19 – Tres Letches Cake

10. February 14 – Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

09. February 14 – Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake

08. February 11 – Cinnamon Hearts Hugs & Kisses Cupcakes

07. February 5 – 10 Layer Smell You Later Cake

06. January 30 – Black Forest Cake

05. January 30 – Chocolate Coconut Cake

04. January 23 – Brown Sugar Cake

03. January 16 – Double Lemon Cake

02. January 9 – Chocolate Topped Almond Cake

01. January 2 – Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

No Comments