Strawberry Basil Cupcakes

Guys, I have the BEST family and friends. They spoiled me like I can’t even begin to tell you for my birthday! I think I mentioned the other day that if there weren’t tears involved in my birthday, it probably wasn’t my birthday. Well, I’m here to tell you, it was probably Christmas or something like that. I was a little sad because hubby had to leave town on my Birthday, but he even made me feel special, especially since he wouldn’t be here on my actual birthday.

I’m telling you… THE. BEST. family and friends. Last year for my birthday, Deb got me a cupcake carrier (seen in these photos). Remember all those cupcakes I did last year? Anyway, this year since I’ve been really into cakes, she got me a cake stand and cake server. I laughed and joked, “what will it be next year? haha. Pies maybe?” Who knows, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

My aunt fed my cookbook addiction. More good yummies to come. I soooooooooo badly want to write a cookbook. You have no idea. I’d also love to be a YouTube personality, but I don’t see the later one happening probably, but nothing says I can’t aspire to that one day. My aunt said she expects some good yummies. You betcha! First up for me to make for her though are Strawberry Lemonade French Macarons. That was a promise!!

That’s not to say all my other presents weren’t great, because I’m not joking, I. GOT. SPOILED. Thank you thank you! (more…)

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Icebox Cupcakes

I swear, I’ve been obsessed with cakes and cookbooks. Well, the cookbook thing isn’t anything new. But this new, pretty, big, fancy cakes thing is new. I can’t tell you how many cookbooks I’ve at least picked up here recently if not put in my Amazon cart. No, I haven’t bought all of them… but a couple here and there. And the websites and the YouTube channels. Oh gosh, someone needs to break me of this habit. Although, right now I need to point out that so far this week I haven’t done ANY baking. I’m almost feeling at a bit of a loss.

Like I said, it’s become a new obsession I guess. The pretty cakes make me happy. One of the cookbooks I did pick up was the Simply Beautiful Homemade Cakes by Lindsay Conchar of Life, Love, & Sugar blog. Guys, no one asked me to say this, but the cakes that she put in this cookbook are just beautiful. I’ve made two of them actually. Although, these are cupcakes, not a cake… but aren’t they just beautiful? (more…)

Apple Pie Cupcakes

I bet you thought I forgot, didn’t you? Well, truth be told, I didn’t forget but I did. The end of November snuck up on me like BAM! I’m here. It’s over. Neener neener neener. What the heck. I went to Orlando, I met a book deadline, Thanksgiving, and then WHAM! It was over. It was more so, I didn’t forget but I just ran out of time.

Okay, Nicole, what are you talking about? Haha… my Cupcake Challenge to myself. Remember that Food Network Magazine in January that started this whole thing? Well, it’s been lost many times. I’ve spilled crap on it. I’ve written all over it. But yet it still keeps coming back. Yey! I think I’m going to tear out those cupcake pages and put them in a book somewhere. If nothing else, for nostalgia purposes. Maybe to prove to myself that I was able to do it and surely I learned something about cupcakes, right?

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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Burnt Marshmallow Icing

Were you worried I didn’t complete the challenge this month? Don’t worry, I remembered. I was quite worried I wasn’t going to so one day last week, Tuesday in fact I decided to make them. Normally I have my little one under my feet, but she wasn’t…. why? Because she was sick.

Tuesday morning when I woke up the house was chilly so I actually turned off the air (which wasn’t on) and turned on the heater. My girl woke up and she was complaining about being cold, but like I said the house had a chill so I wasn’t worried just yet. As the house started warming up, so did I. But she still kept complaining about being chilly. That’s. NOT. NORMAL. for her. I’m telling you, when the rest of us are cold, she’s just fine or even complaining about being warm. That bothered me.

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Milk and Cookies Cupcakes

So I have created a little bit of a monster at my house… a baking monster that is. My little one absolutely LOVES to bake. Every morning she wakes up, looks at me, and asks, what are we going to bake today mommy? Can I let you in on a little secret? I absolutely LOVE it. I always hope she wants to continue to bake/cook with mommy!

These cupcakes… I didn’t really have high hopes for them to be honest. I wasn’t sure about the milk on top (look at the last picture). I wasn’t sure about the cookie. Truthfully, I wasn’t sure about the sweetened condensed milk in the cupcake and icing. A lot of people would probably think these would be the best, but I was quite worried…

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Peaches and Cream Cupcakes

Okay guys, first off, I need to mention… I have an odd number of photos. Yes, there are 11 photos. For some reason I hate odd numbers. I think it is because I prefer symmetry instead of asymmetrical things. Sigh! Two… wait for the rest of this post because seriously. I’m still shaking my head! Finally, happy September. Now that it’s September, can I put my Christmas tree up yet?!?! You think I’m kidding? I’m really not…. Sadly…

Truth… Prior to a couple years ago, I’d never used farm fresh eggs. Yes, I grew up on a farm. No, we didn’t raise chickens. No one I knew raised chickens. We used store bought eggs. And truthfully… farm fresh eggs kind of freaked me out. I don’t know why? I can’t explain it. It is/was just a weird quirk with me. I say was because….. Those eggs above, are farm fresh. Yes, y’all I’ve been using Farm Fresh eggs. Truth number 2 right here… I hardly ever say y’all when speaking, but I will type it. Another thing I can’t explain.

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Root Beer Float Cupcakes

Every so often I wind up looking up National holidays. Not the big ones that we all know like Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc… I’m talking the little ones… Like the one that hapepned on Sunday. What was Sunday? I’m so glad you asked. August 6th is National Root Beer Float Day. Nothing big, but still kind of fun to acknowledge.

Last week I wound up on a blog while doing some research and saw a recipe for Root Beer Float Cupcakes. I got it stuck in my head I needed to make those on National Root Beer Float Day. It combined 2 things in to 1. Root Beer Floats and cupcakes. And since I’ve been trying to teach myself how to make cupcakes, what better thing than to put my new fangled knowledge to work, right?

So nothing unusual about the beginning of these cupcakes… mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Easy peasy… But then comes an interesting part… Place the liquid ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat and melt together. Oh, and some of the liquid… none other than Root Beer because hellow, these are Root Beer Float Cupcakes, right? All of this was done in a bowl with a whisk… as in no electric mixer required for this step. This step=the making of the cupcakes.

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Piña Colada Cupcakes

Were you afraid I forgot to make the July cupcake from the challenge? Never fear, here is the Piña Colada Cupcake. I really think this was one of the cupcakes everyone was looking forward too, that and last months. February’s was good too. I think May’s was the worst IMO. I have a feeling May’s will always be the worst IMO… So the way to start this cupcake was to boil my Pineapple juice. Can I tell you a secret? I had to boil it twice and I forgot about it both times. Whoops.

The first time I forgot to shake my juice together. So it really didn’t boil down to a thick syrup, which made me decide to start again. The second time I walked away and forgot again that I put it on to boil. Nothing happened either time except I came back to the above picture. No big deal.

The boiled juice was actually for the icing but I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget because it needed to be completely cool before I could use it. A few hours later I started back in on the cupcakes. This time I mixed the dry ingredients together in a bowl. It says medium bowl but seriously, I could have used a small bowl for the dry ingredients.

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Sundae Cupcakes

I’m really hoping that one thing I will gain from this Cupcake Challenge I put on myself is to learn to make the most perfect, most consistent cupcakes. So far…. It hasn’t happened, but I am getting closer…. maybe…

I truly think that out of all of these cupcakes, this is one that most everyone was looking forward to. I know I was kind of dreaming about them. And they definitely top the cake over last months. maybe top the cupcake? Would that be icing… like the icing on the cake. Okay, I’ll stop now!

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