Easter Basket Cupcakes

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IMG_5664When I was a kid, my favorite part of Easter was going on an egg hunt around the house. Sometimes my parents would hide presents with each egg as well so it was double the fun!

This year I decided to relive my youth with adorable Easter basket cupcakes. I found these Wilton basket wraps in a store a while ago but never did anything with them. As I was going through my baking supplies recently, I came across them and figured they would be prefect for Easter cupcakes.

IMG_5675I’m not even sure if these are widely available anymore since they’re at least 2-3 years old, but you can still buy them on Amazon.

IMG_5669The cupcakes themselves are super easy to make and don’t even take long to put together. Just make a batch of any flavor cupcakes, frost them and cover them with dyed green coconut flakes and egg-shaped candy like M&Ms. That’s it!

Easter Basket Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • One batch of cupcakes (any flavor)
  • Coconut Flakes
  • Green and yellow food dye
  • Frosting
  • Egg-shaped candy (such as M&Ms)

Instructions

  1. Make a batch of cupcakes in any flavor and let them cool completely.
  2. Make your favorite kind of frosting (I used buttercream) and frost the tops of the cooled cupcakes.
  3. Put some coconut flakes in a ziplock bag, add a few drops of green and yellow food dye, close the bag, and shake it up until the flakes are a good grass-green color.
  4. Sprinkle the coconut on top of the frosting.
  5. Place 3 egg-shaped candies in the middle of each cupcake.
  6. For the baskets, construct the basket wrappers and drop a cupcake into each one.
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IMG_5670Have a wonderful Easter everyone! What types of Easter goodies do you make?

 

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Handmade KitchenAid Stand Mixer Cover

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mixer_coverI know a lot of you have a KitchenAid stand mixer and hate that it collects dust on your counter when you’re not using it. I’m new to the stand mixer. When I received mine for my birthday back in December, I had to get used to using it instead of the ancient hand mixer I’d been using since I was a kid.

The thing I hated most was having to wash the bowl every time I used it because it was covered in dust. This prompted me to look into getting a cover for it, but which one to choose? They run about $20-$40 on Amazon, but I didn’t see any designs I liked. I figured if I’m going to have to pay that much money for one, I might as well put that money into a customized homemade one.

The past few months I’ve been learning to sew. I’m pretty new at it, but when I saw the instructions for making my own cover on this About.com article, I decided to give it a shot. I even added a few things to it like a lining and a side pocket.

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The pocket was a little tricky, but if you have some basic sewing skills, you can figure it out. I started with the outside part of the pocket. Cut out some pieces for the pocket from the outer fabric, interfacing, and the lining that will fit the width of the mixer cover side and go up about 9 inches. Sew the outer fabric (with interfacing attached) and the lining to some piping along one long side, then when you attach the rest of it together, remember to add it on to one side of the cover.

Another alteration I did works well for fabrics that have a pattern that goes in one direction, like the Fifties Kitchen by Michael Miller fabric that I used. I didn’t want the retro kitchen pattern to be upside down on one side, so I added an inch to the length of the long center piece, cut it down the middle and sewed it back together with a 1/2 inch seam so both sides were right side up. It worked out really well.

If you’re even more adventurous, you can quilt the fabric so it has that kind of design on it. I have no idea about quilting, but I just marked out some lines with pencil (although disappearing fabric ink is probably better) and sewed along the lines on the outer fabric that I’d already attached the interfacing to. I used a fusible interfacing that looked sort of like felt. Not sure what it’s called. Then I sewed the whole thing together with the lining added.

The only thing I had a problem with while using the About.com instructions, is that the measurements they gave for the stand mixer cover seemed to be about 1/2 inch too short for my mixer. So make sure it works for the mixer you have before cutting your fabric.

If you make a cover with these instructions or some other way, post a picture of the finished product in the comments below or on my Facebook page! I’d love to see what yours looks like.

 

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St. Patrick’s Day Pot o’ Gold Rainbow Cupcakes

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IMG_5601_2These cupcakes were a long time in the making. Last year I bought the makings for some rainbow cupcakes for a baby shower but never ended up making them. I didn’t want the candy to go to waste though, so I kept it in the back of my mind to find a good time to use them. Rainbow cupcakes would be good at any time, but I wanted it to be the right time, the right situation.

Then St. Patrick’s Day came around this year and it hit me: Now is the time! Rainbows are a great motif of St. Patrick’s Day and the beginning of spring, so I modified my idea and added little candy pots of gold to more fit the theme of St. Patrick’s Day.

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These cupcakes were fun to make because they’re covered in candy! I got inspiration for these cupcakes from Babble.com. For the decor, you’re going to need Airheads Xtremes Rainbow Berry Sour Candy strips, Rolos, gold sparkle gel, gold sugar sprinkles, green jimmies, green frosting dye, and white frosting. I used Just A Pinch’s Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe for the frosting.

Make a batch of cupcakes in whatever flavor you want. I chose to make chocolate cupcakes (recipe here) so the cake was the “dirt” under the grass. If you use my mom’s chocolate cake recipe, follow the recipe exactly, except cook the cupcakes for only 20-25 minutes, otherwise they’ll be overcooked.

IMG_5589While the cupcakes cooled, I made the pots o’ gold using the Rolos, the sparkle gel, and gold sugar sprinkles. Flip the Rolos upside down, add a glob of sparkle gel to the center, leaving the edges untouched, and sprinkle some gold sugar on top. Now you’ve got a treasury full of gold waiting to be placed at the end of the rainbow!

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Make your frosting next and color about half of it green. I did the green in batches because I didn’t want to make too much green and not have enough white frosting left over, but half green/half white should work out. If you want to be cautious, make a little green at a time until you’ve frosted the tops of all the cupcakes. Thin frosting is just fine for this project. Sprinkle the green jimmies on top of all the freshly frosted cupcakes for the grass. You might need to push them into the frosting to make them stick better.

IMG_5595Next cut the rainbow candy strips in half. This will give you 24 rainbows, just enough to cover 2 dozen cupcakes. If you end up with more cupcakes or need more than 24, you’ll need to buy a second package of the rainbow candy.

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With your left over white frosting placed in a frosting bag or zip lock fitted with a Wilton #12 tip, pipe small puffy clouds on two sides of each cupcake. Then stick each end of a rainbow strip into the clouds. Lastly, use a dot of sparkle gel to the side of one cloud to attach a pot o’ gold.

One last thing I will leave you with. Make sure these cupcakes don’t get too warm or they will get a bit droopy, as seen below:

IMG_0833I hope these cupcakes bring you luck this St. Patrick’s Day!

***Update: I included a link to where my inspriation for this cupcake originated.***
 
TidyMomFRIDAYS-1

Photobucket

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Post-Valentine’s Day Wrap-up

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These Chocolate Stout Donuts from Bakers Royale are super awesome. These ones that I made were a surprise for my boyfriend for Valentine’s Day, so I didn’t post them up before the holiday, but I’d definitely suggest them for any occasion.

IMG_5557They’re made with Guinness Extra Stout and I subbed almond milk for the milk and water in the recipe. They turned out super delicious. The frosting tastes exactly like donut shop frosting.

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I also made my boyfriend a candy, bourbon, and bacon rose bouquet to go with the donuts. He really loved this, especially the bacon roses. I used these instructions to make them, but instead of drilling holes in the mini muffin tin to drain the bacon grease (no way I’m going to ruin a baking pan for these!), I put a cookie sheet over the top of the bacon in the muffin pan and drained the grease into a bowl periodically. If you like well-cooked bacon, I’d suggest baking them twice as long as those instructions say, and also turning them over about halfway through so that the bottoms of the bacon get cooked well too.

IMG_5568Mmmm…bourbon and bacon. If I make the bacon roses again, I’m going to dip them in chocolate next time!

I hope you had a fun Valentine’s Day with your loved ones.

 

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Pyramid Alehouse Beer-Infused Cupcake Competition #SFBeerWeek

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IMG_5506_2Last year when I heard about the Pyramid Beer-Infused Cupcake competition, I was itching to go, but I got sick that weekend and decided not to trek up to the Bay Area to eat cupcakes and beer, since it was probably the last thing I needed then.

Amazingly enough, this year I ALSO got sick not long before this competition, but I couldn’t pass it up again. It’s just too tempting. BEER and CUPCAKES? Yes, please. I’m almost all better now, so a little beer and beer cupcakes won’t hurt right?

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Since it is SF Beer Week, the boyfriend and I decided to make a weekend out of it and stay in San Francisco, do a little beer tasting at Faction Brewing and spirit tasting at St. George Spirits in Alameda, and finish up with beer cupcakes at Pyramid Alehouse in Walnut Creek the next day.

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People from all over sent in cupcake recipes featuring one of the Pyramid beers. From the entries, Pyramid narrowed down the recipes to three finalists, and then baked their cupcakes, paired with the appropriate beer, for us to sample and choose our favorite of the three. It’s a pretty fantastic little event considering we got three full sized cupcakes and a 5-6 oz beer for each, all for $10!

Here were our choices:

A Maple Pecan Ale Cake made with Pyramid Hefeweizen, topped with a Maple Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting paired with Pyramid Hefeweizen

IMG_5500A Strawberry Blonde Saison Cupcake made with Pyramid Strawberry Blonde Saison, topped with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting and Chocolate Stout Glaze paired with the Pyramid Strawberry Blonde Saison

IMG_5499A Crème-brew-lée Salted Caramel-filled Cupcake made with Pyramid Outburst Imperial IPA, topped with  Salted Caramel Frosting paired with the Pyramid Outburst Imperial IPA

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After sampling all of the cupcakes, I decided I liked the Maple Pecan cupcake the most. It was sweet, but not too sweet and had the consistency of a muffin, which I’m realizing I like more nowadays. It’s the only one I was able to finish too.

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The Strawberry cupcake was pretty good, had a great delicate frosting, but was edging towards the “too sweet” category. The Salted Caramel cupcake was by far my least favorite, because it tried to do too much and ended up being overly sweet and far too rich to eat more than a couple of bites before those bites started to seem like a mistake. It also had some kind of sticky caramel filling that didn’t compliment the cupcake. I would have preferred to have the caramel frosting as the filling and just a drizzle of something sweet on top instead of more thick sugary frosting.

IMG_5502Before I left, I filled out the ballot, circling my favorite flavor, and turned it into the ballot box. I wonder which cupcake will win the whole shebang. I have a feeling it will come down to the Maple Pecan or the Strawberry cupcake as those seemed to be the most popular with the folks sitting near me.

I think next year I might enter the contest and come up with my own Pyramid beer-infused cupcake recipe. They have so many beers to choose from, I better start drinking now.

 


Cakes Under the Influence Kit Giveaway!

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IMG_5416_2Yesterday I shared my review of Cakes Under the Influence Entertainer Kit and my Old Fashioned Cocktail cupcakes. Now here’s the good news: Cakes Under the Influence is offering to giveaway a Two Under the Influence Baking Kit to one of my readers!

TUIKit

This kit is perfect for a romantic night between you and a loved one or for those times you just want a little something sweet but don’t want to make a huge batch of treats.

The kit comes with:

  • Your choice of 2 Martini molds, OR Margarita molds, OR Champagne molds
  • 2 Matching stemware serving dishes
  • Set of 24 matching paper baking cups
  • 2 food and oven safe silicone cupcake stands
  • 2 pouches of Hi-Proof Baking Mix for Two (1 vanilla and 1 cocoa)
  • Access to CUI Mobile App for recipes, recipe sharing and reviews

How to enter:

Enter this giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter widget below. The only mandatory entry is to leave your name and an email with which to contact you. All other entries are optional, but the more you complete, the better chance you have to win.

This giveaway is open to those who are 18+ and residents of the US only. For complete rules click here.

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