New Year’s Eve Champagne Cupcakes

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Happy New Year everyone!

It is a time for resolutions, new beginnings, and nursing your hangover from last night’s party! If you didn’t already have more than your share of champagne for the year, you’ve got to try out these fancy champagne cupcakes.

This endeavor was full of firsts for me. It was the first time making cupcakes with alcohol and the first time I measured all my dry ingredients using a kitchen scale instead of measuring cups. I’ve learned that measuring by weight is much more accurate. I’ll have a video explaining how to measure flour by weight up soon if you don’t already know how to do it.

I found the recipe for the cake and frosting at Gimme Some Oven last week and thought these cupcakes would be a great addition to the fancy pajama party my friends throw for New Year’s Eve each year. I followed the recipe from Gimme Some Oven exactly and they came out pretty good. The frosting is very sweet but the cakes are light and compliment it well. I wish the champagne flavor was more apparent in these cupcakes, but they still taste great regardless.

For decorating these babies, I wanted to do something elegant. I found a tutorial for making 4th of July sparkler cupcake picks from Two Shades of Pink and modified it for my New Year’s Eve theme. Instead of using wooden skewers (I had difficulty finding them), I used those little coffee stirrer straws. Color-wise the stirrers went with my color scheme better anyway. I found that I needed to use a little hot glue to shape them more because tying them in the middle with a string didn’t poof them into a bursting shape very well.

To make the champagne topper, I used some scrap card stock in green and red and a wrapper from a white chocolate Lindor truffle. I marked out a bottle shape on the green paper and then used bits and pieces of the candy wrapper for the foil accents and label. For a little extra touch I cut a little tiny band out of the red paper and glued it over the foil on the neck of the bottle.

To make these cupcakes really sparkle, I hot glued some rhinestone ribbon around the tops of the cupcake liners after they were done baking. One thing I learned from this is make sure to get all of the hot glue strings off of the cupcakes before you frost them. They are tricky to find.

Have a wonderful new year! Did you do anything fun for New Year’s Eve?

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Baby Shower Cupcakes

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A friend of mine asked me to make some baby shower cupcakes for her brother and sister-in-law and these were the cute cupcakes I came up with. They aren’t super original, but they were fun to make and easy to decorate.

If I had had time to experiment, I would have liked to try making fondant rubber duckies, but with only a couple of days to plan and make these babies, mini rubber ducky toys were the way to go. It also kept the cost down since fondant can be a little pricey.

The cupcakes are spice cupcakes that I made using this recipe. The recipe instructs you to mix the ingredients together strangely, so by the suggestion from several of the comments, I mixed the butter and brown sugar together before adding the rest of the wet ingredients to it and mixed the dry ingredients separately. Then I added the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little bit at a time until it was all combined. The batter will be very thick.

The cupcakes turned out very dense, almost like a muffin but still light like cake. The only thing I’d change to this recipe would be to add more spices! It looked like there would be plenty of spices in it from reading the ingredients, but they didn’t end up as spicy as I wanted them to be. Overall, I liked them, especially warmed up. Warming them did something to the cupcakes that made them very moist and brought out the spice flavor better. Frankly, the cake is so good on its own, it doesn’t need frosting.

If you do want to add frosting, use a cream cheese frosting. I was asked to keep the frosting light for these cupcakes so I tried using Neufchatel cheese instead of cream cheese because it has less fat and calories, but it never got stiff.  Only use this type of cheese for this frosting if you don’t mind it being a little soupy. Otherwise, stick to regular cream cheese. A quick recipe for the frosting is below.

Quick Cream Cheese Frosting

Serving Size: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 - 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 3 cups of sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • food coloring (optional)

Instructions

  1. 1. Whip cream cheese and butter together in a large bowl.
  2. 2. Mix in the vanilla
  3. 3. Adding a little bit at a time, mix in the confectioners' suger until the frosting reaches the consistency you want.
  4. 4. For colored frosting, add food coloring a couple drops at a time to reach desired color
http://shaneskillercupcakes.com/2012/09/baby-shower-cupcakes/

To decorate your cupcakes, find items that go with the theme of your baby shower. There are plenty of ideas out there. I chose to get “It’s a boy!” cupcake picks but these could easily be homemade too. Making them by hand adds a little personal flair to the cupcakes.

If you’d rather go the easy route, and top the cupcakes with little toys instead of fondant figurines, check out party stores or craft stores for cute items. I found these mini duckies in the toy and party favor section of Party City. Sometimes baby shower trinkets can be found at stores like Michaels as well. Make sure to clean the toys well before sticking them on to food that will be eaten.

For extra pizazz, sprinkle the tops of the cupcakes with sanding sugar, sprinkles and/or candy pearls.

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Mickey and Minnie Mouse Cupcakes

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Hello! It’s been a long time since I last posted up some cupcakes. You know how it is. You lose inspiration, get lazy, and then avoid your blog like the plague. Sorry I’ve been gone so long. I think Shane’s Killer Cupcakes will be much more active this summer.

The idea for these Mickey and Minnie cupcakes has been rattling around in my brain for a good half of a year now, but I wanted to make them special for my sister-in-law so I waited until her birthday to make them. I’m so excited how they turned out.

They aren’t too difficult to make either! I used black candy melts to coat the mini Oreo cookie ears and the tops of the cupcakes. If I were to do this again I’d find a slightly larger cookie. Maybe a Nilla Wafer would work. I think regular Oreos might be too big. I found a cute bow candy mold for Minnie’s bows, and used dots of white chocolate and red candy melts to fill it in.

The cupcakes are made from my mom’s wine cake recipe. It’s usually made into a bundt cake but I chose to use it here because I needed a light cupcake so the cupcake liners were still bright, and the cake tastes like egg nog, which I thought might taste good with the candy melts. The recipe for this cake is below.

This recipe makes 12 Mickey and 12 Minnie cupcakes. Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to put together these super cute cupcakes:

Supplies Needed

  • A bag of black and a bag of red candy melts
  • Some white chocolate (about an 1/8 cup)
  • Bow candy mold
  • 48 round cookies somewhere in between the size of a quarter and a half dollar
  • 12 cupcake liners in red and 12 in red with white polka dots
  • 24 little white paper ovals for Mickey’s pants’ buttons
  • 24 cupcakes

Directions

  1. I made the cupcakes first so that they could be cooling while I worked on some of the decorations. If you want to try the Wine Cake that I used, the recipe is below.
  2. While the cupcakes are cooling, start your work on the candy bows and candy covered cookies. For the bows clean your 
    candy mold and dry it well. Water does not mix well with the melted candy. Melt some white chocolate in a ziplock bag in 30 second increments. Once it is soft enough to squeeze out, cut a tiny bit off of the corner of the bag and pipe out tiny little dots into the candy mold. Once you are done, put the candy mold in the freezer to let the white chocolate harden. While the mold is in the freezer, melt some red candy melts the same way as you did the white chocolate in a ziplock bag. You will need probably no more than half the bag of red candy melts. When you are done melting the red candy, pull the mold out of the freezer and pipe the red candy into the mold on top of the white chocolate dots. Make sure to get the red candy into the little crevices well. As before, freeze the mold when you’re done piping the red candy. They should pop out of the mold easily once they are hardened.
  3. For the ears, melt some of the black candy in a small bowl. Add a little canola oil if you want the consistency to be thinner. Dunk the cookies in the candy, fish them out with a fork, and place them on a cookie tray lined with wax paper. This process goes rather quickly. I was a little disappointed that the black candy melts were more like a dark grey than actual black. Chill these in the fridge or freezer as well.
  4. When the cupcakes are cool, melt about the rest of the black candy (I stirred in about 1-1/2 tablespoons of canola oil to it to make it thinner) and dip the tops of the cupcakes in it. If you can’t get the melted candy all the way to the edges, take a knife, dip it in the candy, and spread it on. While the candy is still wet, shove two ears into the top of the cupcake. If you’re making a Minnie one, put a bow on top too.
  5. To finish off the Mickey cupcakes, glue two little white buttons to the front of each cupcake liner. 

Wine Cake

Serving Size: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg yellow cake mix (I use Duncan Hines) Make sure it doesn't already have pudding mix in it
  • 1 (3.4 oz) pkg vanilla instant pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup med. dry Sherry
  • 1 tsp nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients. Mix with a beater for about 5 minutes at medium speed.
  3. Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3rds full with the batter.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until done. Check on them at 15 minutes.
  5. Let them cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes.

Notes

This recipe was originally for a bundt cake. If you'd like to make it into a bundt cake, make as directed and then cook for 40 minutes or until done. Let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Then turn it out onto a plate and when it is fully cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

http://shaneskillercupcakes.com/2012/06/mickey-and-minnie-mouse-cupcakes/

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Pac-Man Cake {Guest Post}

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Recently I asked my friend and blogging buddy, Amber Seree, to write a guest post for Shane’s Killer Cupcakes. She came up with a great tutorial for making a Pac-man Cake! If you’d like to be a guest poster for SKC read the Guest Post Guidelines and contact me to pitch me your idea. Enjoy!


Hey there, guest blogger Amber here. I thought I’d share this with you all, because this cake is an easy, fun way to create something for your child’s birthday, or for a gaming enthusiast. My step son and I baked and decorated this together for his birthday. It turned out delicious and it was fun too!

You will need:

  • 1 Box Duncan Hines Devil’s Food Cake Mix ( or other chocolate cake mix. Use ingredients on the box accordingly)
  • 1 1/3 Cups Water (from Duncan Hines mix box)
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil (from Duncan Hines mix box)
  • 3 Large Eggs (from Duncan Hines mix box)
  • 1 Bag Dark Chocolate Chips (substitute with semi-sweet or milk chocolate, or mix if you’d like)
  • 1 Can White Frosting
  • 1 Can of Chocolate Frosting (the large can is not needed, the regular size will do)
  • Yellow Food Coloring
  • Butter (to grease the pans)
  • 2 8” x 1 1/2” Round Baking Pans
  • Flour (for cake pans)
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Whipped Cream (optional)

Other:

  • A spatula would be nice
  • An electric mixer or whisk (though you can use a fork!)
  • Something to spread the frosting evenly, you can use a butter knife, but there are specialty tools

Directions

Baking:

  1. PREHEAT oven to 350° F for metal or glass pans, or 325° F for dark coated pans. Butter the insides of the pans lightly. You can flour the inside of the pan as well, though we skipped that step and it came out fine.
  2. Blend the cake mix, oil and eggs in a large bowl until completely mixed. With an electric mixer this will be around 2 minutes, if you are mixing with hand, this will take longer.
  3. Pour the batter into cake pans. Add chocolate chips as desired. My stepson chose to sprinkle them liberally on one layer, and concentrate them in the middle on the other. However you want to do it should work fine. If you will use chocolate chips for the eyes, be sure to save at least 10 to accomplish this.
  4. Bake for 33-36 minutes for metal or glass pans. Add a few extra minutes for dark coated pans. Trick: carefully stick a toothpick into the center of your cake, if it comes out clean, it’s ready. Just be aware of your chocolate chips!

Frosting:

  1. Put white frosting into bowl. Add up to 10 drops of yellow food coloring at first, and mix it well. You may need to mix in more to get the vibrant yellow you are looking for. I added 24 yellow drops and one green drop, but the green addition almost became a disaster. If you are going to try to add 1 green drop for a richer, deeper yellow, I’d recommend having an extra can of white frosting on hand just in case. I also highly recommend starting with only 10 yellow drops and working your way up. The type of food coloring and frosting you use may make results vary. Once you have the yellow color you are looking for, set it aside.
  2. Once cake layers COOL COMPLETELY, flip the first one out onto a plate. Be careful of breaking it. The best way I have found is to set plate or platter on top of the cake pan and flip them both upside down together. I’d recommend flipping it back over so that the flat edge is on the bottom. To do this, simply repeat the steps above but without the cake pan. Make sure you use the final serving plate or platter the second time.
  3. Frost the top of the first cake layer thickly with chocolate frosting.
  4. CAREFULLY flip the second cake layer on top of the first. For this top layer, you want to be sure you get the bottom (flat edge) on top, and the rounded (top) facing down. This way you get a smooth surface for your pac man.
  5. Once your top layer is in place, carefully frost the entire cake in the yellow frosting. Be sure to leave an empty triangle for the mouth! Pay extra care to the sides, especially when you get close to the chocolate frosting in between the two layers. Leave the triangle empty all the way down the side of the cake.
  6. Fill in our mouth area with left over chocolate frosting. You may want speciality tools for this, but I used a butter knife and a steady hand and it came out fine.
  1. Lastly, make an eye with chocolate chips. Though you could probably use a chocolate candy melt, a reeses peanut butter cup or other various chocolate candy.
  2. To add extra flair (& possibly cover up the bottom edge of the frosting, as in my case) add whipped cream flourishes around the base of the cake, and voila! You’ve got yourself a Pac Man cake.


{About the Author: Amber Seree}

 Amber Seree is a graphic/web designer, as well as a writer, and a sometimes-baker with a passion for reading and watching good things.  You can find her art at {infinitefathoms.com} or her writing over at {hellcatchitchat.com}, where she is currently blogging about TV and movies. If you like to watch good things too, then check it out.
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5-Minute Valentine Mug Cake {Recipe}

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I’ve been intrigued by all of the mug cake recipes I’ve been coming across on Pintrest. And decided to give one a shot today. I know it’s not even February yet, but I wanted to dress this cake up for Valentines Day anyway. Think of it as getting a head start on a romantic dessert for you and your special someone!

A lot of the recipes I came across ultimately had bad reviews in the comments. So I wasn’t sure I wanted to waste my time on those. Then I came to this recipe on Instructables. It had good reviews for once! And solved a problem that a lot of the other recipes couldn’t. How, for such a small portion, do you get the egg amount right? People complained on those other recipes that one egg was too much and the cake tasted eggy; however, his recipe has you whisk the egg first and then only use a portion of the egg mixture! Brilliant.

So without further ado:

{Recipe}

5-Min. Valentine Mug Cake

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons whisked egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
  • splash of vanilla
  • cooking spray for mug
Optional
  • powdered sugar for garnish

EQUIPMENT

  • a regular sized mug
  • a bowl
  • spatula
  • a whisk

DIRECTIONS

1. Mix the flour, sugar, and cocoa in a bowl and then add the whisked egg, milk, oil, and vanilla.

2. Combine ingredients with a spatula until everything is thoroughly mixed together. I stirred in my chocolate chips at this point but they floated to the bottom while it cooked and got a little crispy, so maybe putting the chocolate chips on top of the batter after you pour it into the mug without stirring them in is a better idea.

3. Spray the mug with cooking spray and then pour the batter into the mug. It should only fill it a little more than halfway.

4. Stick the mug in the microwave for about 2 minutes and 15 seconds on high. The recipe I followed said to do it for 3 minutes but I could smell the chocolate starting to cook too much so I took it out early. It’s better to check it early before you over cook the cake. If you stick a toothpick in and it’s still runny or uncooked after 2 minutes and 15 seconds throw it back into the microwave for a few more seconds. Use your best judgement.

Also, the batter should rise up out of the mug a little while it cooks. This is normal. Even if the batter falls over the side, it might be a little messy, but the cake should still be good.

5. Let it cool for a few minutes and then sprinkle with powdered sugar or dollop a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

The trick to making this cake taste good comes down to using chocolate chips. I can’t say it’s the best cake I’ve ever made, but it didn’t taste terrible and the chocolate chips definitely upped the richness and chocolaty taste.

The top of the cake was almost a little overcooked but the middle was great, especially when the chocolate chips were still melted. Unfortunately the chocolate chips settled on the bottom while it cooked and the very bottom of the cake was a little crunchy because the chips started to overcook. I don’t know if there is a way to make this cake cook more evenly but for a quick and simple, single serving cake it wasn’t bad.

If you didn’t want so much cake to yourself, you could split the batter between two mugs and make smaller portions. You might not want to cook the cake as long though. If you do it this way, I’d suggest cooking it only for a minute and checking it before you heated it any longer.


Christmas Tree and Reindeer Cupcakes

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Merry Belated Christmas!

I’m sorry I haven’t been as active on the blog lately. I blame my holiday laziness, but I did whip up some cute cupcakes this past week that I want to share with you. I hope your families had wonderful get-togethers for the holidays these past few weeks no matter what you celebrate at this time of the year!

For a Christmas party I went to this past Friday I made two cupcake decorating ideas that I’d seen floating around the internet this past month. The first were these cute reindeer cupcakes:

And the others were these Christmas Tree cupcakes:

Both were fairly easy to make but took a long time to put together. For the less experienced decorator, I’d suggest the reindeer ones. I think even kids could put these together. The supplies you’d need to make these are a cupcake (made from scratch or boxed mix), chocolate frosting, Nila wafers, round candies in white, brown and red (I used peanut butter M&Ms for the brown and red noses and white coconut M&Ms for the eyes), black gel frosting for the eye pupils, and pretzels. If I were to do this one again I’d chose smaller pretzels. It’s probably pretty self explanatory by looking at the pictures how to construct them, but I’ll give a quick run down of how I put them together anyway.

First frost the cupcake and put the Nila wafer on near the bottom of one side of the cupcake, then use some frosting to attach the nose. Next shove the pretzels into the frosting near the top, almost to where they meet with the cookie. It was hard to keep the pretzels from slumping over that’s why I put them so far down on the face. If you use smaller pretzels, this may not be necessary. Then attach the eyes with more frosting near the top of the cookie. Unless you want them to be blind reindeer, add a little black pupil to each eyeball with the gel frosting.

For a little more of a challenge I made these Christmas tree cupcakes as well. These ones require a little bit of frosting technique and frosting tips.  Start with a cupcake frosted with white frosting. For the structure of the tree place an ice cream sugar cone upside-down on the white frosting. Then make some green frosting and pipe it on using a closed star tip. Just rest the tip near the ice cream cone and then pull outward as you push the frosting out to make it look like the branchy peaks on the tree.

For decorating the tree you can do a wide variety of things! Some ideas are chocolate covered sunflower seeds, sprinkles, small candies like mini M&Ms, etc. I used some light blue pearl candy sprinkles I had on hand but the decorations are limitless.  You could even try  to find a star shaped candy as a tree topper.

If you made cupcakes for the holidays this year I’d love to see them! You can either post a link to them in a comment below or post a picture on my Facebook page!

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