Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hello Everyone!

I finally bit the bullet, I created a blog.  After several months of looking and following blog after blog, baking 24/7, and people telling me to create one, I have done it.  The reason I was apprehensive was because, well still is, I don't have a lot of time to dedicate to a blog.  Then I started thinking: If I am searching blogs for hours on end, why can't I take a chunk of time to work on my own?

Alright, I know, yada yada.  But hey, this is exciting (for me)!!  When I finally decided that I wanted to create a blog, I started stocking up on my creations and attempting to take "artsy" photos ... attempt is the key word. 

Not sure where to start, I will start with my most recent baking adventure.  I do bake for friends and family - birthdays, confirmations, graduations, and most recently a wedding and a baby shower!

I will dedicate this blog to the baby shower.  This past Saturday, my dear friends had their baby shower for their little girl to be :)  I made 25 vanilla and 25 chocolate cupcakes.  Half of the vanilla and chocolate cupcakes had chocolate buttercream frosting and the other half had white chocolate buttercream frosting.  Delicious!!

Let me tell you that my first attempt of a vanilla cupcake ended up tasting like cornbread ... And I am not sure why.  My best friend told me to try cake flour, so I searched for a vanilla cupcake recipe with cake flour.  Then I came across a recipe from Exclusively Food, which used self-rising flour.  They looked amazing and came with the cheater for self-rising flour.  So I tried it and I, along with everyone else, fell in LOVE.

The vanilla cupcakes are moist, light and fluffy and have a great smooth texture.  The recipe called for castor sugar, which I didn't have, so I sifted the granulated sugar.  I also didn't have self-rising flour, so I did the substitute and it worked perfectly!!

As for the chocolate cupcake recipe, I use this as my no- fail cake and cupcake recipe.  It is from the Hershey's company, but is awesome.  It is very light, moist and melts in your mouth, not as sturdy as some other cupcakes I have tried, but still perfect.  I only make one change, add instant espresso, and it makes the chocolate flavor richer and intense. 

Ok, the long awaited recipes:  I hope that you try them and enjoy.  These are definitely worth trying, I promise!!!

Vanilla Cupcakes
(adapted from Exclusively Food)
½ cup butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar, sifted
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups self-rising flour = (1 ¼ cup AP flour + 2 ½ tsp baking powder + ½ tsp salt)
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350*F. Adjust the oven rack to the middle of the oven.

Using an electric mixer or electric hand-held beaters, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together in a large bowl, starting on low speed and increasing to high once the sugar is incorporated. Beat until the mixture is pale and creamy, stopping the machine once or twice during beating to scrape down the side and base of the bowl with a spatula.
Add one egg to the butter mixture and beat for about a minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the side and base of the bowl. Repeat with remaining egg.
Sift about half the flour (about 2/3 cup) over the butter mixture. Stir with a spoon or beat with the electric mixer/beaters on very low speed until the flour is just incorporated.
Add about half the milk (about 1/4 cup) and stir or beat on very low speed until just combined. Repeat the process with the remaining flour and milk. Do not over mix the batter.

Divide the mixture evenly among the cases (about 1/4 cup batter per case).
Bake for about 20 minutes, until the cupcakes are light golden and they should spring back when lightly pressed in the center (I usually set the timer for 15 minutes and then check and rotate).
Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for about five minutes, and then place them on a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

Chocolate Cake/Cupcakes
(adapted from Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake)
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water + 2 tsp. instant espresso granules

Heat oven to 350°F. Line muffin cups with paper bake cups. Set aside.

Sift together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. 
Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla in another bowl; beat with a mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes. 
In a liquid measuring cup, pour the hot water and add the instant espresso to the hot water, stir to dissolve.  Pour the water/espresso mixture into the batter and stir to combine.  The batter will be very thin.

Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. 

* For a 2 layered cake: grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

½ cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
½ cup white chocolate chips melted over double boiler, cooled
Half and half

Over a double boiler, combine the white chocolate chips and the half and half (quick pour into the bowl to heat with the chips) and stir until melted and smooth.  Set aside to cool.

Cream the butter and vanilla. Then slowly incorporate the sifted 10x sugar, beating well between each addition.

Pour in the white chocolate and beat well.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Do the same as the white chocolate buttercream, but omit the half and half.


  1. Omg those cupcakes were amazing I had like two. The chocolate one was my favorite:)..... I'm her sister lol

  2. Yes, the cupcakes were amazing! So was the wedding cake, graduation cake, birthday cake, etc. Keep trying new things and designing beautiful treats. We love them!

  3. The cupcakes are as cute as the chef that made them.

  4. Thank you guys! You are all awesome :)

  5. Hey Em!
    Congrats on the new blog. You can bake for me anytime you like. Everything looks so amazing. OK now I'm craving chocolate and need to go find some. Love ya!

  6. Hey Emily! Thank you so much for making the cupcakes for the Baby Shower. They were great! Everyone eyed them the whole time (especially a my friend's granddaughter) and raved when they tasted them. Thank you, honey!! I love your baking! I expect many many more posts with amazing baked goodies!

  7. Hi Aunt Rosie! I'm so glad that you got the link :) Don't worry, the holidays are coming and there will be plenty.

    Joanna - I am so happy that everyone enjoyed the cupcakes! You're going to have to send me the link to your blog so we can follow each other (now that I know how to use one lol).