Friday, December 21, 2012

Pumpkin Pie And Panthers

It's been awhile but I've also been baking a lot so I have a bit to share. First of all was the pumpkin pie cupcakes.

I experimented on my coworkers at a Thanksgiving potluck luncheon with excellent results. I was torn between falling back on the cupcakes I normally make and trying my first pie but then people saw I had signed up for a desert and started asking about Dotycakes. That kind of decided it but I still liked the idea of pie.
I managed to find a recipe for pumpkin pie cupcakes. They looked so nice on the website but by the time I finished baking them and finally figuring out the whipped cream frosting (there is a big difference between beating and mixing when it comes to making things likes whipped cream and meringue) it was 10:30 at night and I was not in the mood to pipe faux crusts onto each of the cupcakes.

The solution...pile the whipped cream on top artfully and act like that was the plan all along. The sprinkling on top of the whipped cream is graham cracker pie crust which was an add-on to the original recipe. Apparently it worked, as the cupcakes were gone before everyone had even sat down with the main course.

On to the panthers. I just graduated from Florida Tech with my masters (technically I graduated in July but I finally got to walk at commencement about a week ago) and my husband threw a grad party for me. Their mascot is a Florida panther and since I like baking and had a recipe I'd been meaning to try for a few months I decided to bake some cupcakes. The cupcake is just a base chocolate cupcake recipe but the icing was mint chocolate flavored (think Thin Mint cookies).

My skills aren't up to actually creating a panther (and I was out of gumpaste) so I went with an easy design (simple panther paw prints). The picture you see below (sorry for the horrendous lighting) is of the crime scene. If you notice there are prints leading up to the victim (the devoured cupcake) and prints leading away. Unfortunately the perp was never caught and the rest of the cupcakes were offed later that night.

Mint Chocolate Buttercream:
1cup I salted butter
4 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
3/4-1 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 packet Duncan Hines Frosting Creations Chocolate Mint flavoring

Mix and thin with water as needed (to pipe the cupcakes it took around 4 or 5 tsps).

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I'm relatively new at baking. I started because I was bored and addicted to Ace Of Cakes. Prior to deciding that cake decorating was going to become my next creative outlet I created cakes that could have belonged on Cake Wrecks. My first cake was a cookie cake for my husband's birthday (he won't touch actual cake) was a green monstrosity that was burned on the edges and raw semi-warm cookie in the middle. To his credit, he ate it and smiled but the perfectionist in me was not happy. Thankfully there is no evidence of this first infraction.

About a year and a half later, I decided to try again, this time with a Halloween cake for our annual party. I had been watching Ace Of Cakes religiously for a while by now and discovered that there were websites with step by step instructions and patterns for creating awesome cakes (Wilton's website in particular). This spoke to my inner engineer and my first decent cake was created (ignore the Christmas plate, which was the largest I owned).

After much trial and error with cakes, I realized how much easier (and less frustrating) it was for me to focus on cupcakes. I started doing those instead of cakes or cookie cakes (my husband still gets his annual cookie cake though). Eventually though chocolate and vanilla got boring and I gained enough knowledge to start experimenting with new recipes, even making my own. And that brings us to the point to this blog; sharing my growing collection of recipes, cupcake designs, and general frustration with frosting not doing precisely what I need it to do.